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H.M. Book Printers for Scotland, 

"The Citizen" Press. 


UiwVfci<ai(Y OF GLELPH 


Page 5, seven lines from foot, for " Proctocol " read Protocol. 

Page 6, five lines from top, for " Rottenow " read Rottenrow. 

Page 31, under Illustration, for Drygait, "South-Side," read 

Page 74, sixteen lines from foot, for "Greyfriars U.F. Church, 
John Street," read Greyfriars U.F. Church, North Albion 

r "" HORARY 


The publication of burgh records and the old 
property deeds of town clerks throughout Scotland 
has resulted in the production of many books 
relative to burghal life, genealogies, civic and 
ecclesiastical arrangements, and urban topography 
of the olden time. The admirable services rendered 
by Sir James Marwick, town clerk of Glasgow, 
and Mr. Robert Renwick, depute town clerk, in 
connection with the editing of local records, have 
made possible the compilation of a history of 
Glasgow on a scale of completeness that could 
not have been attempted ten years ago. For 
the making of such a history this little book may 
be of some value in the department of old 
domestic architecture, as it preserves the recol- 
lections of a number of informants regarding the 
pre- Reformation buildings that have been destroyed 
during the past sixty years. 

I have to thank many for information, but 
especial indebtedness is due to Mrs. Stobo, 

4 Prefatory Note, 

Rottenrow ; Mrs. Woods, George Street ; Mr. 
James Smillie, High Street ; Mr. John Young, 
Garngad Hill; Mr. Andrew M'Nair, Stirling 
Road ; Mr. Archibald Mackay, Rottenrow ; and 
Mr. Robert Brydall, F.S.A. I have also to 
express my grateful acknowledgments to Mr. 
Ren wick for kind assistance, and to Mr. James 
Paton, F.L.S., for permission to copy drawings 
of old buildings from pictures owned by the 

Among the books which I have consulted are 
the local histories, the Transactions of the 
Glasgow Archaeological Society, Regality Club 
Publications, Burgh Records, edited by Sir James 
Marwick, and Glasgow Protocols, edited by Mr. 
Robert Renwick. 


Glasgow, August, 1901. 




The Ancient Town Site of Glasgow. 

Hundreds of old houses in Glasgow have been 
cleared away during the past fifty years — many of 
them, perhaps, a good riddance. But, at the Town- 
head, there was a cluster of interesting pre- 
Reformation buildings of various dates of erection, 
which would have been minutely examined by 
architects and pictured for future generations had 
identification been possible. The recently-published 
Protocols, the 16th and 17th century property deeds 
of Glasgow Town Clerks, would have made this 
easy; but the houses are gone, and only a small 
portion of this work of description is now possible 
by the aid of existing sketches and from the recol- 
lections of a few citizens who remember them. Let 
us glance, in the first place, at the picture of the 
ancient town site which the Proctocol books reveal 
to us. Before the introduction of Christianity the 
modern Cathedral Square and offshoots, the original 
town site of Glasgow, seems to have been a place of 
stone circles and pillar stones, the Pagan marks of 
tomb and well worship. To use existing landmarks 
for indicating positions — on a knoll near the corner of 

6 The Ancient Town Site of Glasgow. 

Stirling Road and Castle Street stood the pillar 
stones described in the records as "The Twa Brether 
Croces." Another, " The Ottirburn Croce," was 
situated a little farther west, and near the Lock 
Hospital in the Rottenow was " The Great Croce," 
which one James Rankin was "fund in the wrang" 
for having taken down in 1575 without permission of 
the authorities. In the heart of the old township 
(Cathedral Square) a flowing spring poured its 
waters into a long, wide ditch, generally mentioned 
in the records as a stank (water ditch), and less 
frequently as the Girth or Sanctuary burn. This 
ditch of old extended from the present John Street, 
at the end of the Rottenrow ridge, and after nearly 
a straight eastward course its waters flowed into 
the Molindinar burn. The ditch was broad 
and deep, often brimful of spring and surface 
water, and was bridged so late as 1792 at the lower 
end of Weaver Street. This Girth burn or stank, 
since Dr. Cleland's time, was converted into a drain, 
and it still flows through a brick-work sewer into the 
Molindinar. At the flowing spring well of the 
township, which might be called a tributary of the 
Girth burn, St. Mungo may have baptised his 
converts. He certainly erected his church close by, 
and, about the time when Mungo and Columba met 
and held a choral festival, the place-name may have 
been changed, as Dr. Andrew MacGeorge sug- 
gested, in accordance with the words of Joceline of 
Furness, "In villa dicta Deschu quae nunc vocatur 
Glaschu." The Deschu and Cathures in Joceline's 
1 2 th century Life of St. Mungo were perhaps misspelt 
words for Dhauisce and Cathair. Dhauisce (between 
two waters) may reasonably be supposed to have 
been the Celtic Rath or chiefs stronghold, situated 
in an angle of the Girth and Molindinar burns, or, 

Wooden Houses. 7 

to be more explicit, on the great mound afterwards the 
site of the Bishop's Castle, while the Rath ditch became 
the fosse of the castle, its sole outworks protection 
till Archbishop Beaton's wall was erected in the 
1 6th century. Cathair, the homestead, was probably 
at the Balmano braehead, the highest and broadest 
part of the Ratoun Raw or Rat-hat-an-rath (road of 
the fort). The Cathair, or farm town, to distinguish 
it from the Rath or stronghold, was naturally pro- 
tected on the south by the steep brae, and artificially 
on the north side by the encircling water-ditch or 
Girth burn. On the ridge, clustering around the 
Cathair mound, would be the dwellings of the herds- 
men and their families, and the space between, to the 
north ditch, would form a safe enclosure or corral for 
their cattle, an annex of ancient hill forts that can 
almost invariably be traced in existing remains of 
these primitive earthworks. In later times, as already 
mentioned, the Celtic Rath and Cathair ditches were 
put to ecclesiastical uses — the first to protect the 
Bishop's Castle, the second to mark one of the 
bounds of sanctuary. In like manner the remark- 
able flowing spring of the old town site, of which 
more particulars will be given elsewhere, may have 
become the holy well of the early Christians, and 
may account for the change of place-name from 
Dhauisce (two waters) to Glasgu (dear or sacred 

Wooden Houses. 

Recent historical writers on primitive Scotland 
have struck a hard blow at the once prevalent 
opinions about Caledonian forests and houses built 
of wood. In the era of Cranoges and Brochs it may 

8 Wooden Houses. 

be assumed that the ordinary homes of the people 
were the circular dry-stone huts common to many 
ancient races. On the clay lands of England willow 
and mud houses may have been erected from the 
beginning of things, but in stony Scotland, dry-stone 
building must have been in practice from the 
remotest times. The generalisation that Scottish 
houses in the olden time were wood hovels, easily 
replaced when burnt by accident or invasion, is 
unlikely. If this had been so, those early structures 
must have been on the plan of Friar Tuck's forest 
lodge in Ivanhoe, built of straight logs with notched 
ends, resting one on top of the other, with clay-stopped 
crevices, similar to lumbermen's shanties in Canadian 
woods. From remains of ancient forest in Scotland, 
scrubby patches of birch, mountain ash, oak, alder, 
willow, and fir, it is unreasonable to suppose that, 
during historical times at anyrate, straight trees fit 
for housebuilding were ever so plentiful as to be free 
to all for the trouble of cutting and hauling. Indeed 
it would be easy to prove that from the beginning of 
the 15th till the 18th century, building timber was a 
scarce commodity. Scotland never was a country 
of pine forests like Norway, and in bleak exposed 
districts houses and timber-roofed churches had to 
be erected very narrow to suit the trees available. 
The so-called " wooden" houses of Glasgow and 
Edinburgh were stone houses, with their timber 
balconies or Dutch stoops boarded up to increase 
chamber and shop accommodation, and to make an 
unjust claim on an average width of seven feet or 
thereby of extra street frontage, Those wooden 
projections resulted in narrow streets and were 
frequently the cause of disastrous fires. At the 
burning of a large section of Glasgow in 1652, the 
wind-driven flames swept along the wooden fronts 

Pre- Reformation Manses. 

like a prairie fire, and nearly a thousand families were 
left without homes. 

From early times till the 18th century Glasgow 
had " the Town's Quarry " described in the records 
as "the Blak quarrel" and "the towne's quarrel 
besyde Sanct Mungo's trie," from which an easily 
worked freestone of great weathering properties was 
taken to build kirks, ports, hospitals, and houses. 
Dobbie's Loan was the old road to the Black Quarry, 
which was situated south of Garscube Road, now 
built upon, but an outcrop of the stone may still be 
seen at the Canal Bridge, Possil Road. 

Pre-Reformation Manses. 

Regular streets and stone and lime architecture 
were probably first known in Glasgow at an early 
period of the 12th century. When Joceline, Abbot 
of Melrose, was promoted to the Bishopric of St. 
Mungo, he granted, in 1 195, a Glasgow house to his 
old abbey, which was described as having been 
erected at the first building of the burgh. By a 
statute of 1266 in the episcopate of John de Cheyan, 
prebendal manses were ordered to be built, and John 
M'Ure in his " History of Glasgow" (1736) stated 
that Bishop Cameron (about 1430) issued a similar 
order. This story of M'Ure's is a tradition preserved 
by him, and, although unsupported by the records, is 
likely to be correct. M'Ure was born in Glasgow 
ninety-one years after the Reformation, and in 
his boyhood he must have conversed with old 
inhabitants of the town whose parents had been 
Roman Catholics before that event, the inheritors no 
doubt of many ecclesiastical stories. A number of 
the prebendal manses existed to our time, of which 
drawings were made by William Simpson, Thomas 

io Pre- Reformation Manses. 

Fairbairn, and other artists, but only two or three of 
them could be correctly named. In the Chronicles 
of St. Mungo, published in 1843, ft * s explained that, 
while it was somewhat certain that the walls of most 
of the thirty-two prebendal manses were then existing, 
it was beyond the powers of the antiquary to identify 
them. The publication of Glasgow Protocols has 
now made it possible to give the positions of every 
pre- Reformation manse with five exceptions. These 
old town houses, connected with the prebends of the 
Glasgow diocese in Catholic times, of which we have 
knowledge, were narrow, rubble-built, single buildings 
without passages, their rooms extending from one 
outer wall to the other. Some were only two storeys 
in height, others two storeys and attics, and the 
highest three storeys and attics. They had 
round or square staircase towers, and the upper 
rooms were entered by doors on the stair landings, 
also from doors opening to the wooden balconies 
projected from these towers. The towers themselves 
were dimly lighted by slits, port-holes, and small 
square boles without glass. All the manses had 
stone seats in their window recesses. Of ornament 
in the shape of stone moulding there was very 
little, and that of the simplest kind. The apart- 
ments on the ground floor were, or may have 
been, vaulted. Nearly all of them had cells or little 
chambers in the thickness of the walls. The outer 
walls of the larger manses were three feet thick, with 
the interior dividing walls of the same thickness. 
Little aumbries, cut in the walls, were placed near the 
large fire-places, some of which were eight feet wide 
between the jambs. The original windows were 
very small and square-headed, except in a few 
instances where they had pointed heads. On the 
bare, rough interior walls there was no evidence of 

Pre- Reformation Manses. 1 1 

wood panelling, although cloth hangings may have 
been used in some of the best rooms. These dimly- 
lighted manses, with rush-strewn floors, must have 
made uncomfortable homes according to modern 
ideas, but their inmates had one privilege now lost to 
Scotland, but common enough in many countries, 
wooden balconies or stoops where they could take 
the air in mild weather. 

As the majority of these Glasgow residences of 
the Catholic clergy were from one to two centuries 
older than many of the ruined castellated buildings 
still existing in Scotland, it may seem extraordinary 
in a commercial city like Glasgow, that any of them 
should have remained till our time. Some reasons 
for this may be given here. In the first place, the 
canons of St. Mungo's Cathedral, who were pre- 
bendaries or rectors of the prebends to which the 
Glasgow manses were connected at the Reformation, 
either feued their town houses or otherwise disposed 
of them by regular legal conveyance. These 
clerical residents had been simply life-renters before 
that event ; but whether they became preachers of 
the Reformed Kirk or remained Roman Catholics 
they retained their Glasgow houses. This prevented 
" waisting the howsis of divers graith," or the 
removing of woodwork and stones for building pur- 
poses by the lay inhabitants. Again, the ecclesiastical 
townhead, where the manses were situated, was never 
burned like the lower town on both sides of the 
Clyde, which necessitated the widening of streets and 
other drastic changes. The townhead remained a 
quiet, semi-rural place from the Reformation of 1560 
till the erection of the first city gas-works in 1823, 
inhabited by carters, cowfeeders, and weavers, in 
strange contrast to the ever-changing, commercial 
lower town. There is yet another reason for the 

12 Pre- Reformation Manses, 

lengthened preservation of the prebendal manses. 
Glasgow, unlike nearly every other town in Scotland, 
never suffered from hostile incursions. Edward I. 
on one occasion was in the town for ten days. 
Cromwell's soldiers were encamped at the townhead ; 
some of Montrose's followers plundered the citizens 
after the battle of Kilsyth. Claverhouse asked the 
Duke of Monmouth's permission to burn and sack 
Glasgow after Both well Brig. Ugly rumours were 
abroad about what Prince Charlie's Highlanders 
would do to Glasgow on their return journey, but 
nothing untow T ard happened. It was not till the 
middle of the 1 9th century that the wrecking of old 
street architecture began in wholesale fashion. 

While a number of the manses had fallen into dis- 
repair after the Reformation, it is pretty certain that 
by 1600 the best of them had been renovated, and in 
1638 we learn from Principal Baillie's letters that 
the houses of Glasgow were in good up-keep and 
preservation. This creditable condition may have 
been due in some measure to this learned Principal 
of the University, who seems to have had antiquarian 
tastes. At the General Assembly meetings held in 
Glasgow Cathedral he was grieved and ashamed at 
the want of respect shown to the old building by 
some " rascals" of the town. When visiting St. 
Andrews he inspected the kirks, castle, ports, col- 
leges, and abbey. At another time, when in Edin- 
burgh, he visited the tolbooth, kirks, castle, colleges, 
Holyrood, and Roslin, In his native city, Robert 
Baillie, the Covenanter, is certain to have used his 
influence for the up-keep of such fine examples of 
ecclesiastical architecture as the Cathedral and Black- 
friars kirks. He would be naturally interested in 
the manses of the Catholic clergy, as his great- 
grandfather, David Gibson, ex-prebendary of Ayr 

Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 1 3 

and canon of Glasgow, had lived in one of them 
before the Reformation. 

Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 

As the residences of the Cathedral canons were 
the principal houses of old Glasgow, such of them as 
are remembered by people still living will now be 
described so far as it is possible. 

On the north side of the Rottenrow, a little west 
of Balmano braehead, stood the Manse of Roxburgh. 
It was not one of those erected in Bishop Cameron's 
time, but a tenement purchased from the vicars of 
the choir by Prebendary George Ker of Roxburgh 
in 15 1 2. The alleged site was at the spot known as 
the Angel Close, and the mediaeval-looking cherub- 
stone over the close doorway is said to have been 
taken from the manse. If the statement is correct, 
this sculptured-stone is the only existing relic con- 
nected with the once populous Royal burgh town of 
Roxburgh. The Kers are still there, for Floors 
Castle, the principal seat of the Duke of Roxburghe, 
the head of that family, overlooks the spot ; the name 
is also preserved by the ruins of old Roxburgh Castle 
on the hill which surmounts the ancient town-site ; 
but where the High Street, Market Street, and 
King Street of Roxburgh extended, and where the 
church dedicated to St. James the Apostle stood, in 
which Prebendary George Ker officiated when not 
on duty at the metropolitan kirk of Glasgow, cannot 
now be traced, even by grass-covered foundation- 
walls. Everything connected with the place is gone 
but the annual St. James's Fair, which was a 
flourishing institution when David I. was king, and 
is still a considerable market and social gathering 
held on the old ground. 

1 4 Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 

To return to the Rottenrow of Glasgow. Near 
the opening of Taylor Street was the first manse 
connected with the prebend of Luss. It may have 
been from the ruins of this house that an earthenware 
pot containing about nine hundred gold coins of dates 
anterior to 1540 was discovered in 1795. 

On the same side, at the opening of Weaver 
Street, stood the Manse of Eddleston. Although 
that Peeblesshire prebend was one of the oldest 
belonging to the See of St. Mungo, and had given 
the famous prelate and Cathedral builder, Bishop 
William de Bondington, to Glasgow, the prebendary 
of Eddleston in Bishop Cameron's day had evidently 
not put himself to great expense in obeying the 
order of his superior, as his manse was described by 
"Senex" (Mr. Robert Reid) in " Glasgow Past and 
Present" as "an old-fashioned house two storeys in 
height." He had often seen it as a schoolboy about 
1782. The Incorporation of Weavers, who had 
purchased the manse from Cornelius Crawford of 
Jordanhill, were obliged to take it down to open up 
the south end of Weaver Street, when that thorough- 
fare was made in 1792. They used its stones and 
woodwork for their Cross Keys Inn property, then 
in course of erection. Two sculptured stones from 
the manse were preserved by the Weavers and built 
into the back wall of the Cross Keys Inn, at the 
west corner of Weaver Street and Rottenrow, where 
they may still be seen. The older of these stones 
was formerly the lintel over the front door of the 
manse. It has the words " Domus Edilston " in 
raised letters, and a neatly-cut scallop shell for a 
centre ornament. But the more interesting relic is 
the armorial stone bearing the inscription, " Justitia 
Jura Fides " (Justice Rights Faith), also the three 
escutcheons of the Hays, and, underneath, the 

Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 


initials " A. H.," with "Anno 1573." The "three 
escutcheons gules " appear on the coat of arms of 
the Marquess of Tweeddale, the head of the Hay 
family. Andrew Hay, who lived for many years in 
Eddleston Manse, was before the Reformation 
prebendary of Renfrew, and had acquired the house 
from his brother, George Hay, who had been Rector 
of Eddleston before 1560. Andrew became a pro- 
minent Presbyterian, and was twice Moderator of 
the General Assembly. He was described as "an 

N \ (I *■ »"«1r 1 - * 



honest, zealous, frank-hearted gentleman," and it 
was his executive ability when Rector of the College 
from 1569 to 1586, combined with the learning of 
Principal Andrew Melville, that put Glasgow Uni- 
versity on a sure footing after its collapse at the 
Reformation. Melville stayed for some time as 
the guest of Rector Andrew Hay in Eddleston 
Manse, the story of which can be traced from 
the middle of the 15th century. In 1447 J onn 
Methuen, canon of Glasgow and rector of Eddleston, 
had a controversy with John Mousfald, a chaplain, 
about the proprietorship of this Rottenrow pro 

1 6 Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 

perty. At a meeting held in St. Margaret's Chapel, 
Edinburgh Castle, the Chancellor of Scotland 
and other arbiters decided in favour of Methuen, 
and it remained the Manse of Eddleston till the 
Reformation. During Andrew Hay's term of resi- 
dence the records contain a little story of that old- 
time public pest in Scotland, " the sturdy beggar." 
One of these vagrants had " sorned" on the inmates, 
and showed his displeasure by stabbing the girl who 
had refused him alms at the door. The domestic 
was not seriously hurt, and the beggar-man paid the 
penalty on the following morning by being scourged 
through the town. What might have been a more 
alarming breach of the peace was prevented by 
Rector Andrew Hay, when an old man, in August 
1587. He was walking towards the Bell o' the 
Brae, from Eddleston Manse, when he saw David 
Weymss, the first Presbyterian minister of Glasgow, 
with his cloak twisted around his left arm and with 
drawn sword in right hand, defending himself 
against the combined attack of the Cunninghams, 
father and son. Hay produced a " whittle," or long 
knife, and hastened to equalise the fray, but the 
Cunninghams decided to retire to their house, Cam- 
buslang Manse, at the head of the Drygait. It 
may be gleaned from local records that Glasgow 
had more street fights with five thousand inhabitants 
than at the present day with nearly a million. 
Before taking leave of Andrew Hay, it is worth 
mentioning that he was a strong believer in early 
working hours. During his rectorship the College 
gate was opened at five o'clock in winter mornings 
and four o'clock in summer. 

At the east corner of Weaver Street and Rotten- 
row, there is a house projected into the street, which 
once adjoined Eddleston Manse and now shows the 

Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 


old building line. On the site of this building in 
the 1 6th century was a house called " Bowastie," 
which should give those interested in place-names an 
opportunity for study. 

The next house east belonged to the Robertons, 


||l ♦ U W 


Roberton's House. Carstairs Manse. Moffat Manse. 

Rottenrow, North Side. 

an old Glasgow family, and was perhaps built by 
them. It is the first building shown on the left of 
Wm. Simpson's water-colour drawing, ''Rottenrow, 
north side, in 1843," m Stuart's "Views." It was 
taken down about 1865. 

1 8 Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 

The adjoining large house, with crow stepped 
gable and dormer windows, was the pre- Reformation 
Manse of Carstairs, the accompanying sketch of 
which is taken from an earlier picture than Simpson's. 
It was acquired by the Glasgow Gas Light Company 
in 1823, and was removed by them in 1855. The 
history of this building can be traced from long before 
the Reformation till its demolition, and perhaps there 
was never any time during its centuries of existence 
that it was not inhabited and kept in good repair. 
From the recollection of several informants who have 
been within its walls, it bore a striking resemblance 
to the house 3 to 7 Castle Street, a description of 
which will be given subsequently. Sir James Cottis, 
prebendary of Carstairs and Canon of Glasgow, at 
the change from the old doctrines kept the manse in 
his own family ; but it was afterwards purchased to 
be a residence for the first Presbyterian minister, and 
here Doctor Peter Low, the founder of the Glasgow 
Surgeons' Hall, wooed and won his wife, the daughter 
of the Rev. David Wemyss. 

The next house east was the Manse of Moffat. 
This building, like the Manse of Ancrum, which 
stood in the Vicar's Alley, north of the Cathedral, 
had been erected, shortly before the Reformation, on 
the site of a still older residence attached to the 
same prebend. Moffat Manse, as seen in the sketch, 
was perhaps built about 1540 by Matthew Stewart, 
prebendary of Moffat, and is an example of two plain 
barn-like buildings, joined together, with high pitched 
roofs and gable ends to the street — a style of archi- 
tecture once common in old Edinburgh, as may be 
seen in 16th and 17th century " bird's-eye view" 
plans of that city. The east portion of this double 
building was Moffat Manse proper, and the west part 
may have been rented before the Reformation. 

Old Houses in the Rottenrow. 19 

After that time it became a separate property, and 
was at one time owned by George Elphinstone of 
Blythswood. The other part was " Moffat Manse 
of old " till the end of its existence. It was ruinous 
in 1843, tne date °f Wm. Simpson's drawing for 
Stuart's "Views," although entire in 1826, when 
purchased by the Gas Company. A roughly- 
executed armorial stone bearing the arms of Matthew 
Stewart was inserted in the front wall, over the door 
of the through close at the joining of the double 
building. When the fabric was demolished in 1855 
this stone was built over a gateway leading from 
Rottenrow into the Gasworks yard, and some claim 
that it afterwards found its way into Kelvingrove 
Museum, where it bore the legend that it had been 
taken from a house in the Stable Green. For a long 
period there are no breaks to be found in the title 
deeds of Moffat Manse. John Wardlaw was rector 
at the Reformation, and he feued it to his nephew, 
Henry Wardlaw. Three notable owners and occu- 
piers of this old house were Alexander Rowat, first 
minister of the Barony in 1595, George Crawford, 
historian of Renfrewshire, and another Barony 
minister, Lawrence Hill, of whom it was said in 
" One Hundred Glasgow Men " that he belonged to 
a family which " can probably boast of as ancient and 
complete a hereditary connection with Glasgow as 
any now existing." 

Nearly opposite Moffat Manse, on the south side 
of the Rottenrow, was that hoary relic of antiquity 
" the Auld Pedagogy," the first college of Glasgow. 
After the second, or High Street College, was 
founded by Bishop William Turnbull in 1450, " the 
Auld Pedagogy " passed through many changes. It 
was at one time the prebendal Manse of Luss, at 
another a Presbyterian manse, but for a long period 

20 The Kirkgait. 

it was in a shattered condition, with grass growing 
inside the ruined walls, and not so much as a single 
rafter or bit of woodwork of any kind remaining. Its 
walls were three feet thick, and it had the remains of 
a circular arched door, two fireplaces, and a large 
window of ecclesiastical design. It was removed 
about i860. Its exact position was on the site of 
the Lock Hospital. 

There were no other manses in the Rottenrow, 
although it was studded with houses and cottages, of 
probable 16th and 17th century erection, till within 
recent years. 

The Kirkgait. 

In our search for old houses, the next part to be 
examined is the Kirkgait (west side). This short 
street, now obliterated, started at the Bell o' the 
Brae, and extended to the centre of the Macleod 
Street opening in Cathedral Square. The old west 
corner of Kirkgait and Rottenrow was sixty-five feet 
farther west than the present High Street corner, 
and the Kirkgait west line extended in a slightly 
north-east direction through the ground on which the 
new Barony Church now stands. Where the well- 
remembered "Twin's Land" corner house stood, 
was for a long time vacant ground, but two very 
ancient looking small houses — a picture of which is 
to be found in the City Chambers — were immediately 
to the north of it. Then came the Manse of More- 
battle, partly on the site of the new Barony Church 
and partly in Cathedral Square. The next building 
to the north was the old men's house of the St. 
Nicholas Hospital. Adjoining that was the cottage 
for the female servants of the Hospital, and at the 
north end of the Kirkgait (west side) was the Hall 


The Kirkgait. 


of the Hospital. These three St. Nicholas buildings 
were removed in 1798, but the Chapel, which stood 
back from this building line, and projected across the 
modern Macleod Street, remained till 1808. The 
Chapel being a rear building, not in the way of 
"improvements," the Town Council resolved to 


Old Men's 

Female Servants' 


St. Nicholas Hospital Buildings in 1740. 

preserve it. This scheme fell through, and Archibald 
Newbigging, a builder, cleared it away, as stated, in 

The Manse of Morebattle must now be considered. 
It was a small building, this Glasgow residence of 


The Kirkgait. 

the Archdeacon of Teviotdale, but the most tasteful, 
architecturally considered, of all the Glasgow pre- 
bendal manses. Its builder, Archdeacon Patrick 
Hume, in Bishop Cameron's time, would naturally 
have good ideas about architecture. When on a 
journey to Glasgow from his home at Morebattle in 
the Cheviots, he would make resting places at such 

St. Nicholas Hospital Chapel when used as a Stable. 

Original Porch Removed. 

famous Abbeys as Kelso, Jedburgh, and Melrose. 
Every vestige of the church of St. Lawrence 
at Morebattle disappeared generations ago, and 
" Lawrie's Well" alone preserves the saint's 
name there in a corrupted form; but the 15th 
century Archdeacon's town house in Glasgow was 
in good repair when taken down in 1865. In 1605 
the members of the Trades' House had the choice of 

The Kirkgait. 23 

this building, or Blacader's Hospital, to be the 
Trades' alms-house for indigent old men of the crafts, 
and they selected the older edifice, Morebattle 
Manse. Those who remember it, unite in praise of 
its interior design, even when converted into two 
small shops and two (one room and kitchen) homes 
on the second storey. A round staircase at the 
back, that had originally been of turret shape, gave 
access to the upper rooms, which were divided by 
wooden partitions. The cutting of the stone wall in 
the upstairs portion had been done to form the 
Trades' Hall, where members of the crafts held their 
meetings after the alms-house period till 1792. One 
informant regularly visited the front upstairs room 
and kitchen of Morebattle Manse in his boyhood. 
That part of the old building was then inhabited by 
an uncle and aunt who had no children of their own, 
and they took pleasure in helping their little nephews 
and nieces with school-lessons preparation. The 
bairns sat with their books on the carved stone 
seats under the Gothic windows, and fancied them- 
selves in a castle. The belfry, seen in the sketch, 
which had been erected by the crafts, was removed 
at that time. Opposite this building, when it was 
the Trades' alms-house, the cart stopped on execu- 
tion days, when the gallows was erected in the 
Bishop's castle yard close by. An old man of the 
hospital rang the bell, and the condemned person 
in the cart read out the lines of a psalm, which the 
spectators repeated to "Coleshill" or some other 
dismal, old-fashioned tune. It is rather a melancholy 
reflection that some of these criminals suffered the 
extreme penalty for offences which, at the present 
day, would entail only a short term of imprison- 

24 The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 

The Drygait and Limmerfield. 

For the next group of Rectors' houses a return 
must be made to the Wyndhead or Quadrivium, 
afterwards known as the Bell o' the Brae, to examine 
the south side of the Drygait. There the great 
houses stood thickly, and are hard to place from 
Proctocol descriptions, some of them having no 
frontage to the Drygait. There was a back path 
between the courtyards and the gardens, and in some 
cases the gardens and orchards commenced at 
points a little east of the houses with which 
they were connected. About the Reformation 
period, at the Drygait (south side). Bell o' the Brae 
corner, the first house was a tenement which had 
been gifted to the altar of St. John the Baptist in 
the Cathedral. Behind this, facing the High Street, 
was " the battlet hows " or fortalice and tower of the 
Elphinstones. The second house was the Mason- 
Spreul tenement, and behind that the Colville town 
house. The next house, proceeding east, was the 
residence of the Prebendary of Peebles, who was 
Archdeacon of Glasgow, and adjoining that was a 
tenement belonging to the Stewarts of Minto in 
Roxburghshire. A new building was erected on the 
site of this last-named house by Sir Matthew Stewart 
of Minto, when Provost of Glasgow, to correspond 
in height and appearance to the Peebles Manse, 
which also had been acquired by him ; and these 
two united houses became the Drygait front of the 
group of buildings known afterwards as " The 
Duke's Lodgings." 

The next in order facing the Drygait was the 
town-house of Kincaid of that Ilk, and behind that 
was the Manse of Cambuslang, which had been 
converted at a late period into stables, coach- 

The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 



HHn«* i-*' *ft 


I #^f)( 




« o 

.2 -J 

« 3 

"5 o 

26 The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 

house, and hay-lofts, after becoming one of the 
yard buildings of the Duke of Montrose's lodgings. 
A well had been dug in one of the vaulted 
ground floor stable apartments of this old manse, 
and those who remember its demolition in 1851 say 
that it had very strong walls, which took several 
charges of blasting powder to throw down. The 
basement, the same informants state, looked of 
much older date than the upper part. The Manse 
of Peebles portion of the Duke's Lodgings had 
been very little changed. A new roof, some new 
windows, and a few small windows built up were 
about all the outward alterations. Its staircase 
tower at the back was exactly as it had been in the 
15th century, and was so badly lighted by the 
original slits and boles as to be seldom used. This 
was a favourite place for boys playing pranks on 
Saturday half holidays, and they had named it " the 
secret stair." The kitchen fireplace was so large 
that it had been made into a separate room. About 
1850 this fireplace chamber was occupied by a 
cobbler, but in 1829, according to the editor of 
" Swan's Views," a family of four persons had lived 
in it. The "Duke's Lodgings" had a distinguished 
visitor in July 1651, when " Crumwell ludgit in 
Mintos," with his Ironsides camped around, all very 
civil, but making free use of garden vegetables and 
standing grain. 

The next house east, adjoining Kincaid's, 
belonged at the Reformation period to Robert 
Boyd and his wife, Elizabeth Douglas. Kincaid's 
and Boyd's houses were probably small buildings, 
with their gables to the street, and no garden- 
ground was attached to them. On the site of 
these a picturesque 17th century tenement was 
erected, the facade of which was topped by two 

The Drygait and Ltmmerfield. 27 

large half-timber gables, and this house appears 
in William Simpson's picture " The Drygait, near 
the Duke's Lodgings." Beyond this point was a 
relic of great antiquity, a thick-walled edifice that 
some allege must have been about the oldest 
piece of masonry in the city. It had a turnpike 
staircase at the Drygait side, evidently of later 
date than the main fabric, which bore the marks 
of having been repaired at various periods. This 
was the manse connected with the Tweedside 
prebend of Stobo, and adjoining it was the Manse 
of Eaglesham or the Chaplainry of St. John the 
Baptist. The rectors or prebendaries of Eagles- 
ham were chaplains to that altar in the Cathedral, 
hence the second name of their "town residence." 
These two manses also appear in the picture 
just referred to, and Mr. William Simpson, who, 
from his long connection with the Illustrated 
London News as a special war and travelling 
artist, had sketched ancient buildings in many 
countries, said of the manses of Stobo and Eagles- 
ham, that they were "no doubt much older than the 
Duke's Lodgings." He particularly mentioned 
Stobo Manse, "a tall narrow structure, being 
more like a tower than a dwelling-house ; must be 
very old." From Stobo Manse the narrow strips 
of gardens running to the Molindinar, beyond the 
present Duke Street, began to widen, and the garden 
and orchard ground of the next pre- Reformation 
house, on the south-side of the Drygait, w r ould 
have pastured two cows had it been laid out in 
grass. In this extensive lot, just where the 
Drygait descended sharply and slanted towards the 
south-east, stood perhaps the most famous house of 
old Glasgow, which early local historians described 
as the Correction House, and erroneously supposed 
to be the Manse of Cambuslang. 

28 The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 

As the story of this house can be traced all the 
way, it is given here as an example of the many 
changes undergone by some of the manses. 
In a protocol of 1507 it was described as 
' 'the new house of Cunningham the Official." 
Another deed shows that it was standing in 
1503, so it may have been erected by David 
Cunningham the Official and one of the Vicars 
General about 1500. After his time it was owned 
by the Vicars of the Choir. Sir Robert Marshall, 
chaplain to the All Saints' or All Hallows' altar, was 
the next occupant, and he sold it to Walter Kennedy, 
prebendary of Douglas, and it became his manse. In 
1567 it was purchased from Kennedy by the Earl of 
Eglinton, and was afterwards conveyed to his servant, 
Robert Scailles, in 1610. In 1635 it became the 
town's Correction House, not a jail like the Tolbooth, 
but an industrial reformatory. It was also used as a 
place for whipping law breakers. 

On the 1 6th January 1638, an eventful day for 
Glasgow commerce, Robert Fleming and partners 
proposed to start a manufactory there. The Provost, 
Bailies, and Council, considering the great good that 
would redound to the burgh, " all in ane voyce " 
agreed to set them their great ludging and yard 
except u twa laich fore vaults" and gallery at the 
back of the said tenement. To this arrangement 
the Deacon Convener of the Trades objected on 
behalf of the freemen weavers. It was finally agreed 
that Fleming and his partners would only employ 
freemen weavers, and would purchase wool and 
manufacture it, selling the product at a stall under 
the Tolbooth, granted for that purpose by the 
magistrates. So it was in this old Manse of 
Douglas and back buildings that the " Glasgow 
plaids and woollen camblets" were made, which 

The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 



The Dry gait and Limmerjields 

Walter Gibson, " Bass John" Spreul and other 
early merchants traded at foreign ports for wines, 
sugar, and general produce. A number of years 
after this the Correction House property passed to 
private owners. It ceased to be the Bridewell in 
1788, and was demolished about 1822. 

Eaglesham Manse dovecot remained at the yard 
foot till 1852. It had been converted into a dwelling 

The Manse of Douglas, afterwards the 
Correction House. 

Copied from an old Engraving by permission of 
Mr. Arch. Hamilton Donald. 

for an old woman who had lived in it for many years 
before its destruction, and the manse itself, to refer 
to it again as it appears in Wm. Simpson's drawing 
for 1843, was renovated after that time. The 
thatch was removed and replaced by slates, and 
the three small iron-stanchioned windows, as 
seen in the sketch, were enlarged into shop 
windows, and the whole building repaired for a 

The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 


fresh lease of existence. But this was not to be. Its 
site was required for Duke Street Prison extension, 
and the former abode of priests was taken 
down in 1852. Informants who remember it say 
there were wooden galleries at the back, not open 
balconies, and in passing along the top gallery a 
tallish man had to keep his head sideways to escape 
contact with the timber supports of the roof. 

Ashkirk Manse. 

Drygait, South-Side. 

One informant had rather a peculiar experience 
with Stobo and Eaglesham Manses when a 
boy. Once a month he met by appointment two 
ladies who delivered religious tracts on the south side 
of Drygait, from the Molindinar bridge to the Bell 

2,2 The Dry gait and Limmerfield. 

o' the Brae. They were not afraid to visit the other 
houses, but the gloomy interiors of the old prebendal 
houses of Stobo and Eaglesham were rather trying to 
their nerves, so they employed the boy to deliver the 
tracts in these buildings. This informant remembers 
carved stone lintels over two of the great fireplaces 
in Stobo Manse, and that modern grates had been 
bricked up within the original jambs. Another to 
whom I am indebted for information, and who had 
reached manhood when he was often within this old 
building from 1846 till its demolition in 1852, 
corroborates this, and says "it looked like a jail 

On the opposite side of the Drygait was the pre- 
Reformation Manse of Ashkirk, or rather the east 
half of it, for the west portion had been removed. 
The interior dividing walls of the manses being of 
the same thickness as the outer walls enabled this to 
be done with only a small alteration at the roof; and 
the peculiarity of thick inner walls may explain the 
changes made in 1562 on the " Heart of Midlothian" 
Tolbooth in Edinburgh, perhaps the oldest domestic 
building in Scotland to reach the 19th century. Part 
of the original rubble-built oblong may have been 
taken down at the east end and a new part erected 
of hewn stones and more fanciful design. It was of 
the Glasgow Manse of Ashkirk in the Drygait that 
Mr. James Pagan wrote : — " The highest one is 
evidently, from the peculiarity of its construction, 
the oldest, and may have existed when the town was 
occasionally in a troubled state, from the smallness of 
the windows and extraordinary appearance of strength 
which it presented." 

The Parson of Glasgow's manse, which had been 
repaired at great expense by Thomas Crawford of 
Jordanhill in 1574, was for a number of years a 

The Stable Green and North Port. $$ 

tavern. It was situated in the Limmerfield or Drygait 
Lane, near the site of the old Barony Church, and 
was taken down about fifty years ago. 

Nearly opposite the Parson of Glasgow's manse, 
on the west side of the Limmerfield, stood the Manse 
of Erskine. It was a narrow, two-storey and attics 
house with crow-stepped gables and small windows. 
An armorial stone bearing the Cunningham arms 
was taken from this house in 1859. The Manse of 
Carnwath stood in Kirk Lane between the old Barony 
Church and the Wallace Bridge over the Molindinar. 
A school was conducted in the ground floor apart- 
ments of Carnwath Manse, at which a number of 
citizens, who might dislike to be called elderly, 
received a part of their education. 

The Stable Green and North Port. 

The area of ground called the Stable Green 
adjoined the Bishop's Castle on the north and west. 
The west portion extended from the north and 
south boundaries of the U.F. Barony Church and 
Macleod Street, to use the present landmarks. A 
small cluster of houses stood at the east side, 
and the ancient Green stretched to the west 
for a considerable distance, bounded on the south 
by the Girth burn and on the north by the 
moorland, which encroached close to the town. The 
sites of the old Stable Green buildings are exactly 
known from the Protocol books, but only those 
fronting the present Castle Street require our atten- 
tion. Where the U.F. Barony Church stands, or 
within a few yards of the spot, was the Blacader 
Hospital. Across Mason Street, at Cathedral Square, 
with a 60-feet frontage, was " the Place of Stable 
Green," the Glasgow residence purchased by Lord 

34 ' ' ProvantP s Lordship? f 

Lennox in 1509, and the house in which Darnley 
lay sick at the time of Queen Mary's memorable 
visit. The building itself could hardly have 
occupied so much frontage, and it probably stood 
gable-end and courtyard wall to the street. 
When the Lennox property was sold in three 
lots with 20-feet fronts, the north and middle 
lots were described as " beyond the Stable Green 
Port." The south lot was " at the Port ;" so the 
exact site of the old North Gate of Glasgow is at the 
south corner of Mason Street and Cathedral Square. 
The arch of the port extended from a small guard- 
house on the west side to the Castle wall, about 
twelve feet distant, with the oak nail-studded gate 
hung between. The buildings south of the Stable 
Green Port guard-house, on the west side opposite 
the Castle wall, were the manses of Renfrew and 
Govan and the still existing 3 to 7 Castle Street in 
that order. The last-mentioned house has had 
several names in its time — " A Tenement of the St. 
Nicholas Hospital," " The prebendal Manse of 
Provan," " Provand's Lordship," " The Black Land," 
" The Battle o' the Brae Ale House," and to-day 
3 to 7 Castle Street. Its story will be related under 
a new heading. 

" Provand's Lordship." 

Visitors to Glasgow will notice in Cathedral Square 
an old building used as an advertisement hoarding. 
They may scan the picture-posters, little thinking 
that the house used as a bill-posting station is one 
of the oldest dwelling-houses in Scotland. Its history, 
told briefly as possible, will now be given. There 
have been many discussions about this old building, 

Provand's Lordship," 3-7 Castle Street. 

1 ■ Provand's Lordship. " 35 

which stands at the corner of Macleod Street facing 
Cathedral Square ; but the opinion expressed by Sir 
Michael Connal, forty years ago, that it had been a 
residence for the Preceptors of the St. Nicholas 
Hospital and the Canons of Provan, has been found 
from recent investigations to be correct. The house 
is first mentioned in Burgh records in 1589, where 
Archibald Eglinton, Master of the St. Nicholas 
Hospital, gave Sub-Dean Patrick Walkinshaw and 
Peter Alderstoun notice to quit, respectively, " the 
south mid chalmer " and the " north mid chalmer." 
From Alexander Nisbet's " Heraldry," a little more 
than a century later, it was stated to have been 
erected in 1471 by Bishop Andrew Muirhead, the 
founder of the St. Nicholas Hospital, to be a residence 
for the priest in charge of that hospital, and that it 
had a stone showing the Bishop's shield " with three 
acorns in the bend." This shield can still be traced 
on the lowest corbie step, facing Cathedral Square. 
John M'Ure, the first historian of Glasgow, who had 
known the building from nearly the middle of the 
17th century, wrote thus concerning it : — " The Pre- 
bendary of Balarnock, or, as he was called, the Lord 
of Provan, and his rectory was always designated the 
Lordship of Provan. I am really at a loss to know 
the import of that designation. His manse was at 
the large house near the Stable Green Port, that now 
belongs to Mr. Bryson of Neilsland." Title deeds 
show that John Bryson of Neilsland was proprietor 
in M'Ure's time, and from the remains of a broken 
sundial on the building bearing the letters " Prova," 
it is more than probable that when complete it had 
borne the inscription " Provand's Lordship." As the 
statement that after the Reformation it became the 
town house of William Baillie, the laird of Provan and 
President of the College of Justice, cannot be con- 

2,6 " Provand's L ordship. ' ' 

futed, it is almost certain that before that time the 
rectors of Provan or Balernock had chambers in it. 
Some one or other of the Baillie family had been 
prebendaries of Provan and canons of the Cathedral 
for many years before the Reformation. In 1807 
the Town Council had this house under consideration, 
and as it was supposed to form part of the hospital 
property, then belonging to them, it was sold to 
Archibald Newbigging, but as far as can be ascer- 
tained the old house remained with its former 
possessors. Most of the title deeds of the property 
have been lost. The earliest in existence is one of 
1642, and after that time there is a blank of nearly 
a hundred years. 

There are two traditions concerning the house. 
The first is contained in the following statement, 

Bishop Muirhead's Shield on " Provand's Lordship." 

made some years ago by Mr. W. L. Leitch, Vice- 
President of the Institute of Painters in Water 
Colours : — " The big house on the left was called 
' The Black Land.' It was a heavy building, with a 
singular, very wide staircase, very gloomy, with 
hardly any light, and the rooms large, gaunt, and 
strangely proportioned. I recollect my father saying 
that he believed the house was called ' The Black 
Land ' from its having been the residence of some 
of the superior orders of the priesthood in the old 
times." The other tradition is derived from two 
reliable sources, and is to the effect that Queen Mary 

Provand's Lords hip, $7 

occupied it when visiting Darnley. There are quite 
a number of Queen Mary and Prince Charlie houses 
that will not bear investigation, but in this case the 
probability that Mary did occupy it is so strong as 
almost to amount to certainty. From canons of 
Provan the Baillies had become lairds of its 2000 
odd acres, a charter for which was granted by 
Queen Mary Stuart in 1565, two years previous to 
her Glasgow visit. The Baillies were therefore 
likely people to offer their town house for her tem- 
porary residence, and about this time it is known 
that Sir Bartholomew Simpson, an ex-vicar of the 
choir and Master of the St. Nicholas Hospital, had 
removed to a chamber in Kincaid's house in the 
Drygait. Provand's Lordship, with its fourteen 
large rooms, was the only house at that precise 
time anywhere near "the Place of Stable Green" 
(where Darnley lay sick) large enough and in fit 
condition to receive the Queen and her retinue of 
the Hamiltons, Livingstone of Callender, and 

But a description of the building must be pro- 
ceeded with. The house, as it now stands at the 
corner of Macleod Street, facing Cathedral Square, 
has lost nearly all its antique features. In the first 
place, the alterations of street levels take away 
some of its original height. A flagged ground 
floor, five feet below the present street pavement, 
has been seen. The old shape of the building 
was almost identical with the manses of Peebles, 
Cambuslang, and Carstairs — a rubble-built oblong, 
50 feet by 24 feet outside the walls, with a square 
staircase tower projecting at the back. Two 
wooden supports of the old balconies on the 
jwest side still remain; but its balconies, unlike 
those of the Manse of Eaglesham, which 

38 " Provand's Lordship." 

had been simply boarded up into galleries, were, 
in the case of " Provand's Lordship," enclosed by 
thin stone walls in 1570. That date is still clearly 
inscribed on the lowest corbie step of the south 
wing. The walls, outer and inner, of Bishop Muir- 
head's erection are three feet thick. Some of the 
fireplaces are eight feet wide, and their massive 
stone jambs, corbels, and lintels are ornamented 
with plain chamfers and mouldings, such as may 
seen on the Cathedral stairs, and elsewhere in 
that building. There is only one small chamber 
in the thickness of the wall. There are several 
aumbries, or traces of such, all square-headed, and 
some very small windows, now bricked up in front, 
and used as cupboards. In two of the rooms the 
old stone seats in the window recesses may still 
be seen. The house has been so modernised 
outwardly that the ancient appearance of some 
of the rooms excites surprise. A portion of an 
old roof, with mouldered ridge stones, still exists 
under the present roof. Only one nail-studded oak 
door remains. There were ten outer doors on the 
west side of the old oblong building and tower of 
1 47 1, and six of them had opened to the wooden 
balconies which projected from the staircase tower. 
Three doorways, that had given admittance to 
the ground floor apartments, were flat arched, of the 
same description as those remembered in the manses 
of Peebles, Cambuslang, and Carstairs. The build- 
ing of 1 47 1 may have been a facsimile of the one 
erected by Bishop Andrew Muirhead some years 
earlier for the Vicars of the Choir, and he probably 
intended that it should contain chambers for the 
Preceptor of the St. Nicholas Hospital, the Rector 
of Provan, and some of the chaplains to the altars. 
The chaplains of the All Saints, Holy Cross, and 

" Provand? s Lordship" 39 

St. John the Baptist altars had residences of their 
own; but there were many altars in the Cathedral, 
and the other officiating chaplains doubtless lived 
in chambers like the Choral Vicars. There is one 
unmistakable proof of the antiquity of " Pro- 
vand's Lordship " on the building itself. The top 
of the old staircase tower has never been altered. 
With its little open bole window and crow steps, it 
is exactly as it left the 15th century builder's hands, 
and when this part is contrasted with the gables of 
the north and south wings on each side of it, the 
difference between the masonry of 1471 and 1570 is 
seen at a glance. 

Assuming that the Queen Mary tradition is 
correct, a new light is thrown upon the famous 
Glasgow letter of the Casket series. If Thomas 
Crawford of Jordanhill, when in attendance upon 
Darnley, took down the King's little speech in 
writing to read it to Darnley's father, Lord Lennox, 
who was also confined by sickness to his bedroom, 
perhaps the Queen acted similarly. Crawford had 
simply to pass from one room to another, but Queen 
Mary had only some 1 50 feet to traverse between "the 
Place of Stable Green" and her lodging. It may 
have been that the " patchwork " Glasgow letter was 
re-written from her "memorial papers." Darnley's 
speech for forgiveness and restoration to his rights, 
of some two hundred words, was perhaps repeated 
over to himself many times till word perfect. It is 
the similarity of the reports of it contained in Craw- 
ford's declaration and the Glasgow letter (No. 2) of 
the Casket series which makes the crux of the 
Hosack-Skelton versus Froude- Henderson contro- 
versy. Fifty years ago " Provand's Lordship," then 
a tavern, was a great resort for Barony Church 
country parishioners on Sacrament Sundays, when 
the services lasted the greater part of the day. 

40 Provanhall in the Bishops Forest. 

Provanhall in the Bishops' Forest. 

From the town house of Provan to the Hall 
Mailing, the country residence of the Baillie family, 
who were first canons of the Cathedral and after- 
wards lairds of the prebend, is a natural sequence. 
This fine old place, the Hall Mailing, now called 
Provanhall, is situated in the Lochwoods, of old 
a part of the Bishops' forest land in the 
Glasgow barony, about four and a-half miles 
east from the Townhead. It is best seen in 
early summer, and a pleasant road for the pedestrian 
is by way of the Monkland Canal towpath. This 
once busy waterway, from the shutting-down of 
many coalpits, is now so little used that its quiet 
waters might be devoted to the cultivation of German 
carp and other canal fish. On nearing the Loch- 
woods the evidence of old forest land, as distin- 
guished from moorland, is visible. Magpies are 
flitting about among the aged thorn trees on the 
north bank, and a little farther on is a beech tree 
that looks of great age. It has a short bole and 
twisted branches like the Capon oak, the last relic 
of Jed Forest, a kind of tree of so little use for 
building timber, as to have escaped periods of the 
greatest wood scarcity. This countryside of small 
lakes, ravines, hillocks, and birch thickets must have 
been a great resort for game in old times. 

" Of fawns, sounders, bucks, and does 
Was full the wood, and many roes." 

It is of similar country that Canadians have stories 
about the deer coming back — favourite haunts to 
which those timid creatures returned long after 
pioneer settlers had converted the woodland into 
farms. As one turns to ascend the hill to Provan- 


Beech Tree near Provanhall — A Relic of the Bishop's Forest. 

Provanhall in the Bishops Forest, 4 1 

hall a fine growth of young forest trees is seen on 
the north bank, shading the canal. Passing the low- 
lying meadow land, which Glasgow records state 
was once a loch with fish and boats, the terraced 
Dutch garden of Provanhall is viewed, sheltered by 
a high wooded park, and gay with apple-tree 
blossoms and wallflower beds. At the farm stead- 
ing there is an arched gateway leading into a court- 
yard, with a house at each end. Near by is a dead 
yew tree that died of old age about twenty years 
ago. Over the arched gateway of the courtyard 
an armorial stone bears the date 1647, and the 
cinquefoils of Sir Robert Hamilton of Provan and 
Silvertonhill, whose grandfather had married Eliza- 
beth Baillie, the " Air of Provan." The house at 
the south end of the courtyard was altered, raised, 
and re-roofed some years ago, and appears to be of 
late 17th century erection. The north house is 
much older, and the records of Glasgow contain 
more than one reference to it. The city acquired 
the estate of Provan in 1667, and a minute of Town 
Council of 2nd May, 1668, states that " the magis- 
trates and council being informed that the manor 
house of Provan, lately bought by them from Sir 
Robert, is in great decay, appoint the Dean of Guild 
to see to it, and to reparation thereof." This build- 
ing is perhaps the most perfect example remaining 
in Scotland of the simple monkish houses of pre- 
Reformation days. The repairs of 1668 appear to 
have included such alterations as a new roof and 
storm windows of 17th century style, also a broad 
flight of stone steps leading to the second storey to 
replace the round turret staircase at the back, which 
of old had led into the ancient garden, in which 
some pear trees survived within the memory of the 
present proprietor, Mr. William Mather. The 

42 Gorbak Tower and St, Niniaris Chapel. 

original garden is now part of a cow pasture. The 
ground-floor apartments are strongly arched with 
circular vaulting of small squared stones. A great 
fireplace extends across the full width of the kitchen. 
There, in old times, the canon's domestics could have 
burned ten-feet logs, and might have sat within the 
jambs and gazed up at the stars on winter nights, if 
they had been so disposed. The upstairs fireplaces 
are similar in design to those in the town house, 
" Provand's Lordship." The original windows are 
very small, and portholes remain in the disused stair- 
case tower. A short distance east from Provanhall 
stood the castellated house of Lochwood, one of the 
country residences of the Bishops of Glasgow, of 
which not a stone remains to mark the spot. The 
Hall Mailing was on the direct Glasgow road 
to the Bishops' house, and from which, even after 
dark, the lights of Lochwood might have been seen 
glimmering among the trees. It should be mentioned 
here that there was another Bishops' Forest in 
Galloway connected with the diocese. 

Gorbals Tower and St. Ninian's Chapel. 

Glasgow like many other cities extended by 
villages. It was at the second extension of 
Glasgow, the Gorbals, that the two buildings shown 
in the sketch stood till 1870. The position occupied 
by them was between the Chapel Close and Ruther- 
glen Loan, on the east side of Main Street. The 
tower was said by M'Ure to have been erected by 
Robert Douglas of Spott in Haddingtonshire, who 
had been created Viscount of Belhaven. The estate 
of Gorbals and Briggend was conveyed to Belhaven 
in 1634, and the erection of the tower by him was 
probably a year or two later. Born in 1651, M'Ure 
lived his whole life in Glasgow, and could hardly 


Old Yew Tree, Provanhall. 

Gorbals Tower and St. Niniaris Chapel. 43 

have been mistaken about what was so near his own 
time. In his boyhood the tower would be one of 
the new " sights" of Glasgow. This statement is 
also favoured by the rustic corner-stones of the 
fabric, which are identified with domestic masonry 
from the middle of the 17th to the end of the 18th 
century. The ornamental stucco work on the ceiling 
of its large hall, as shown in William Simpson's 
picture, was evidently of late 17th century design, 
and although the ceiling had casts of the initials 

Gorbals Tower and St. Ninian's Chapel. 

S.G.E. and D.A.B., for Sir George Elphinstone and 
Dame Agnes Boyd, his wife, they were probably 
put there by order of the Dean of Guild, when the 
hall was fitted up to be a place for holding public 
meetings. It was perhaps from motives of courtesy 
and respect that Viscount Belhaven inserted the 
initials of his old friend, the unfortunate Sir George 
Elphinstone, the former owner of the estate, on his 
own armorial stone on the Chapel building, and the 

44 Gorbals Tower and St. Niniaris ChapeL 

Dean of Guild may have been similarly actuated. 
These seem to be the only feasible explanations for 
the appearance of the Elphinstone initials, placed as 
they were on the Tower and Chapel, which hitherto 
have caused M'Ure's statement about the erection 
in Belhaven's time to be doubted by local historians. 

When the high-handed and office-seeking Stewarts 
of Minto lost their grip and slipped down into 
obscure place, Glasgow people were perhaps more 
pleased than otherwise. On the other hand there 
would be nothing but sympathy when the Elphin- 
stones came to poverty. It was an Elphinstone who 
first introduced trading on a large scale in Glasgow, 
and another pioneer of the family, Bishop Elphin- 
stone, did as much for the art of printing in 
Scotland when he caused the Aberdeen Breviary to 
be printed in 1509. 

The town acquired Gorbals Tower in 1649, and 
it had at one time for a tenant, Sir James Turner, 
an ex-soldier of fortune, who had served under 
Gustavus Adolphus. He is famous as the prototype 
of Sir Walter Scott's Dugald Dalgetty, and infamous 
for his cruel persecutions of the Covenanters. 

The small Chapel, beneath the flagstones of which 
Sir George Elphinstone was buried, had a longer 
history. The exact date of its erection is unknown, 
but it was standing prior to 1494. When it was St. 
Ninian's Chapel, the lepers from the hospital near 
the bridge-end came to it every evening to ring the 
bell and pray for their kind benefactors. They were 
not allowed to walk on the "crown" of the Main 
Street causeway, " but onlie upon the calsie side near 
the gutter," with muslin covering their faces and 
holes cut for the eyes. Unlike the lepers of 
Scriptural times who cried " unclean," these afflicted 
people of old Glasgow rattled wooden clappers 

The Porterfield Mansion. 45 

to warn the town's people of their approach. The 

lepers had the privilege of sitting near the bridge to 

\ solicit alms of passers by. St. Ninian's Chapel, in 

I later times the Gorbals Courthouse, was afterwards 

i a jail and a school. During the last half century of 

its existence it was a tavern. It was quite entire 

I outwardly in 1829, as depicted in Swan's views and 

I as shown in the accompanying sketch, copied from 

a drawing of a year or two later, but when 

photographed in 1868 the round turret and large 

southern window had disappeared. The Chapel 

was taken down, as already stated, in 1870. An 

i interesting history of the Gorbals Tower and St. 

Ninian's Chapel is to be found in Regality Club 

publications. The article is entitled " The Barony 

of Gorbals," from the pen of Mr. Robert Renwick. 

The Porterfield Mansion. 

This "back land," to use the local term, stood in 
a close on the west side of High Street. It was 
fronted by " Barr's Land/' a tenement built by 
James Barr, rector of the High School about 1760. 
These two buildings were removed by the Improve- 
ment Trust in 1869, to connect Ingram Street and 
High Street. The back building, called the Porter- 
field Mansion, was rather an imposing edifice, and 
attracted more attention than any old house in 

! Glasgow after the removal of the Duke's Lodgings in 
1 85 1. It was believed to have been erected about 
the middle of the 16th century by one of the Porter- 

| field family. A recently-published volume of 
Protocols shows that it was acquired by John 
Porterfield of that Ilk in 1553, from the chaplain to 
the altar of the blessed Virgin Mary, in the parish 
of Houston, diocese of Glasgow. An informant who 

4 6 

The Porterfield Mansion, 

The Dove House, High Street 47 

remembers it well, says that it was an old building, 
which had many evidences of later improvements. 
In his opinion the original form had been a plain 
oblong like Peebles and Carstairs Manses, with a 
round projecting staircase (not seen in the sketch) at 
the back of the building, near the north-west corner. 
It had several small windows built up. The gabled 
wing and broad flight of steps, with the larger 
windows and capped dormers, were probably some 
of the alterations made on the house by George 
Porterfield, when Provost of Glasgow from 1645 t0 
1649, and again in 1651, about which time he may 
have also inserted an armorial stone in the building, 
which has been preserved. Its flight of steps and 
dormer windows were identical in design to those 
made at Provanhall by the Dean of Guild in 1668, 
and may have been the work of the same mason, 
the only difference being that Provanhall, not so 
large a house, has the size of its steps and dormers 
proportionately smaller. The walls of the Porter- 
field Mansion were three feet thick, like the pre- 
Reformation manses, and the basement was strongly 
arched. The main fabric may have been erected in 
the 15th century. From its position it had evidently 
stood at first in its own garden and orchard, and the 
site had no doubt been chosen before there was 
any regular west building line in High Street at 
that part. When a wrecking gang were throwing 
down its old stones and timbers, a Glasgow gentle- 
man happened to be passing up the High Street. 
He had some talk with the contractor who was 
overseeing the demolition, and from him he purchased 
one of the inner doors of the mansion. It is now 
the dining-room door in a west-end house, and is 
a much-prized relic of pre-Reformation days. 

48 The Dove House, High Street. 

The Dove House, High Street. 

In " Glasgow Past and Present," under date 1849, 
the following reference is made to this High Street 
property : — " Only one ancient landmark is here to 
the fore. It is situated on the west side of High 
Street, a few yards above George Street, and presents, 
with its crow steps and moulded chimney heads, a 
striking contrast to the square and utilitarian masses 
of masonry by which it is surrounded. Tradition 
says that this fabric was a hostelry in by-gone days — 
that, in fact, it was the principal inn in the time of 
the Royal Stuarts, and that it was distinguished by 
the meek sign of the Dove. On the back wall, 
fronting the inner court, there is a heraldic repre- 
sentation on which a dove can be faintly traced, but 
it was disfigured some years ago by some vandal, 
while engaged in repairing the building. On the top 
of one of the inner court gables the date of 1596 is 
boldly cut, showing that the house can lay claim to an 
acquaintanceship with generations long since passed 
away. The whole fabric beautifully displays the 
characteristics of a style of building in Glasgow two 
and a half centuries ago. We sincerely hope that 
this remnant will be cared for, and that many a day 
will elapse ere the Dean of Guild will be required to 

In 1863 an old tenement in the High Street of 
Edinburgh fell into the street, burying thirty-five 
people in the ruins. Several were taken out alive, 
and among the saved was a little boy who bravely 
encouraged his rescuers by repeating through the 
chinks of fallen masonry under which he was im- 
prisoned, " Heave awa', lads 5 a'm no' deid yet." 
When this news reached Glasgow, the fall of " Gibson's 
Land" and an old Sugar House was remembered, 

The Dove House, High Street. 


and some buildings supposed to be dangerous were 
marked to come down, partially or entirely. 

The house referred to in " Glasgow Past and 
Present" was one of them, and the top storey was 
accordingly removed. Mr. Duncan C. West, the 
proprietor, and Mr. James Pagan had some cor- 
respondence about the preservation of the date-stone, 

The Dove House Court, High Street. 

and it was placed under one of the shop counters in 
the building. It remained there till the demolition 
of the house in June, 1900. The date, in clear-cut 
raised figures, was found to be 1595, and the stone is 
now in one of the Corporation Museums. Queen 
Victoria and the Prince Consort are said to have 
admired this old house when they drove up the High 

50 The Dove House, High Street. 

Street to view the Cathedral in 1849. It projected 
a little beyond the building line, and looked its age 
when closely examined. What was left of it after 
the alteration of 1863, as seen m the sketch, is suffi- 
cient to show that no general rule can be laid down 
for the age of domestic architecture in Scotland. A 
house of the same date in another district might have 
exhibited some of the oldest known characteristics — 
vaulted kitchens, wide fireplaces, and yawning 
"lums," but this Glasgow building had only its 
chimneys to betray its antiquity to the casual observer. 
These chimneys may have served as patterns for the 
three of later date which stood over the old gateway 
of the High Street College (now preserved at Gil- 
morehill), as they are remembered to have been 
identical in design. Unlike the pre- Reformation 
rubble-stone manses, the facade of the Dove House 
was of close-jointed hewn stones, built from the 
ground up. No structural alterations appeared to 
have been made at any time. The walls were 2^/2 
feet thick. Large regularly placed windows, all 
ornamented with a small plain chamfer, admitted 
good light to every room, and the modern looking 
fireplaces and other interior arrangements showed 
the advanced state of domestic architecture in 
Glasgow at the close of the 16th century. During 
the process of demolition, the crooked, stunted oak 
trees, which had been used for joists, were sure 
evidence of the scarcity of building timber in the 
district around Glasgow in 1595. They were hard, 
and sound to the core, but none of them were thick 
enough to have been hewn into square timber. 
Denuded of bark, for better preservation, they had 
been smoothed with an axe on the best sides to keep 
the flooring level. The Dove stone mentioned in 
" Glasgow Past and Present," inserted high in the 

The Dove House, High Street. 















tiffl WW 

52 The Dove House, High Street. 

back wall, disappeared with the top storey in 1863. 
The heraldic dove, especially in a mutilated state, 
might easily have been mistaken for one of the 
" falcon heads " on the arms of the Halls of Fulbar. 
That family is known from University records to 
have possessed the building site and garden ground 
at the back early in the 16th century, and as their 
fortalice and tower and large orchard at the north- 
west corner of Stockwell Street were sold off in lots 
some years previous to 1595, it is not unlikely that 
the Dove House may have been their town residence. 
Fulbar, now part of the estate of Elderslie, was in 
the possession of this family of Halls before 1370, 
and they held it in unbroken line till 1775. The 
tradition that this old High Street house had been 
at one time the principal inn of the town is probable 
enough. At the end of the yard was a large stable, 
and the small side buildings for extra bedroom 
accommodation gave the place much the appearance 
of an antique English inn of the courtyard plan. 
Several iron bridle cleeks in the street wall are 
remembered, to which pack horses may have been 
tied up when the "crown of the causeway " was the 
most fancied footpath. Was this building " the aqua 
vitce house of Mrs. Kirksten M'Kenn in the 
Hiegait," at the period when Zachary Boyd would 
probably take the chair at Presbytery dinners, is a 
question which has been put, but is never likely to 
be answered. That " vehement exhorter" of old 
Glasgow was severe in his denunciations of the 
intemperate, and his verses here given perhaps 
contain the opinion of the temperance party of his 
time. He was writing about the " noble vine " : — 

•' Its sacred liquor doth comfort 
If temperately ta'en, 
Revives the sp'rites and cheers the heart, 
And purifies the brain. 

The Oldest House in the Trongait. 53 

To those that drink it soberly 

It serveth for good use, 
But God above most fearfully 

Will punish its abuse." 

When " Mr. Zachary railed on Crumwell to his 
face," during sermon in the Cathedral, it is known 
from his own writings, that he discoursed upon the 
8th chapter of Daniel, and some have thought, when 
Thurlow indignantly asked permisssion to " pistol the 
scoundrel," that Cromwell was likened to the " rough 
he goat" of the prophet's dream. The preacher's 
wrath more probably broke out when expounding 
the following words of the chapter : — " And his 
power shall be mighty, and he shall destroy the 
mighty and holy people. He shall also stand up 
against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken 
without hand." 

The Oldest House in the Trongait. 

The house formerly numbered lift Trongait was 
for generations known as the oldest house in that 
street. Built in 1 591, it was a landmark for 306 
years. The building is supposed to have been 
erected by a family of the name of Shiels, who were 
property owners on the north side of St. Thenaw's 
gait or Trongait about the end of the 16th century. 
The edifice escaped the two great fires of 1652 and 
1677, having been a detached house for many years, 
like the Nisbet Land in King Street. Archi- 
tecturally it was a similar building to the Dove 
House in High Street, erected in 1595, and 
llike it the date-stone has been preserved. The 
sketches of these two houses show the advanced 
state of the builder's art in Glasgow at that period, 


The Oldest House in the Trongait. 

and there is enough left of a somewhat similar 
building, the ruined mansion of Cardarroch, near 
Robroyston, built in 1623, to still give an idea of 
their general structure and interior arrangements to 
architects and others interested. In connection 
with the last-named house, it may be mentioned 
that Principal Robert Baillie's wife resided at Car- 
darroch before her marriage, and about sixty years 

The Oldest House in the Trongait — Erected 1591. 

ago Watty Watson, the weaver poet, the author of 
many once popular songs, was a tenant of the same 
old house. Hugh Macdonald in his " Rambles 
Round Glasgow " relates how Walter in his young 
manhood wrote "The Braes of Bedlay," and forth- 
with presented himself to the laird of that estate, 
manuscript in hand. "Well, who are you and what 
do you want?" roared the laird. "My name is 

The Nisbet House, King Street, 


Walter Watson," faltered the poet, "and I was 
wantin' you to look at that bit paper." When his 
lairdship read the lines referring to Walter meeting 
his Mary "among the green bushes on the braes of 
Bedlay," he exclaimed in great wrath, " I'm just 
pestered with such interlopers as you on my pro- 
perty, and if ever I catch you and your Mary 

Nisbet Land, King Street. 

among my green bushes, depend upon it, I'll make 
you repent it." 

The Nisbet House in King Street. 

The house shown in the sketch was one of the 
first erected in King Street, and had originally 
windows in the gable walls, with an outlook to the 

56 Maxwell Tenement \ 40 High Street, 

Briggait and Trongait. It was acquired by the City 
Improvement Trust from Mr. John More Nisbet of 
Cairnhill, and had been the property of the Nisbet 
family from the time of its erection, nearly 170 
years prior to its demolition. The "land" was 
taken down in June, 1900, and it was a type of the 
uniform plan of the houses erected in King Street 
when that thoroughfare was first opened. 
"M'Nair's Land," a more ornate building, adjoined 
it to the north, and was removed a few months 
earlier. This latter house had been built of stones 
from the ancient Black Quarry, and the partition 
walls, instead of being the fragile brick erections of 
modern tenements, were composed of large-sized 
hewn slabs of freestone a foot thick, which were 
admired by many connected with the building trade 
when the house was demolished. 

Maxwell Tenement, 40 High Street. 

This house was erected in 1623 by Patrick Max- 
well, a cadet of the ancient family of Pollok. It 
was taken down in 1856, and an inscribed stone 
from the old house bearing the names of Patrick 
Maxwell and Bessie Boyd, his wife, is now inserted 
in a brick wall of the court No. 8 Macpherson 
Street. Smollett lodged at 40 High Street, and the 
garret windows, seen in the sketch, are referred to 
in one of the scenes of " Roderick Random." 

Old Houses — 17TH and i8th Century Styles. 

The old gabled buildings, Nos. 15 to 25 High 
Street, as they stood about 1870, were typical 
examples of Glasgow 17th century " lands." Their 

Old Houses — i*jth and 1 8th Century Styles. 57 

style was copied from the street architecture of the 
Netherlands. These Dutch fronts were erected for 
nearly a hundred years after 1596, the best of 
them being Dowhill's Land in the Saltmarket, Orr's 
Land, Gallowgate, and Gilchrist's Land on the south 
side of Trongate. Every example of these old 
" Burgh Lands" has disappeared, but two very 
similar tenements still remain adjoining the Tolbooth 

Maxwell Tenement, 40 High Street. 

Steeple at the foot of High Street. They exhibit 
the succeeding style of tenement architecture. The 
old house, No. 25 High Street, shows the piazzas 
that formerly existed under the Tontine Hotel and 
coffee-room, and other buildings about the market 
cross. In former times large business transactions 

58 Old Houses — iyth and 18th Century Styles. 

took place under these archways, the daily resort 
of the principal traders of the city. 

A quaint 17th century building still exists at the 
south corner of the Bridgegate and Saltmarket. Ac- 
cording to a writer in Regality Club publications 
" this was the residence of the Coulters, an old Glas- 
gow family, and it continued to be their residence till 
1812, when Miss Jenny, the last of her race, died in it. 
The Coulters were bien folk, and Miss Jenny had 
a weel-plenished hoose. The inventory of her house- 
hold effects came to £1019 16s. 8d. This must be 
much above the average Bridgegate inventory." 
The Ship Bank was opened for business in these 
premises in 1750, from whence it was moved, in 
1776, to the south-west corner of Glassford Street, 
into an annex or side building of the Shawfield 
Mansion, which formerly stood across Glassford 
Street, facing the opening into Stockwell Street. 
The corresponding annex on the east side remains, 
and is an interesting- memorial of Prince Charlie's 
visit. It was in the Shawfield or Glassford Mansion, 
the finest example of a self-contained house in 
Glasgow at that period, where the Prince resided. 
As the Coulter or original Ship Bank house at the 
Bridgegate east end is a corner building, more easily 
preserved than one situated within a block, it might 
be retained as a pleasing type of 17th century tene- 
ment architecture ; but it is doomed, and will shortly 
disappear to make room for " improvements." A 
correspondent of " The Literary Rambler," writing 
under date May 21st, 1832, made the following 
statement regarding this house : — " On the south 
corner of the Bridgegate there still remains part of 
a respectable mansion (a considerable portion of it 
being sometime since removed to widen the street) 
known by the name of Coulter's house, in which it 

Old Ship Bank Building, Corner of Briggait and Saltmarket. 

Old Houses — ijth and 18th Century Styles. 59 

15 and 25 High Street. 

60 Old Houses — ijth and 18 th Century Styles. 

is said Protector Cromwell convened a Parliament." 
An inscribed stone, which formerly marked the 
height of the great river flood of 12th March, 1782, 
on Silvercraig's Land, a large building which stood 
opposite, on the east side of the Saltmarket, was 
inserted in the gable wall of the Coulter house for 
preservation, and may still be seen. 

We learn from Dr. John Oswald Mitchell's writ- 
ings that there were fifteen first rank mansions in 
Glasgow built between 171 1 and 1780. His general 
description presents a clear picture of these Georgian 
houses. " They were links between the ruder archi- 
tecture with which the 18th century began and the 
work of the Adam school. They were stately 
hotels, entre cour et jardin, the biggest of them with 
wings at right angles to the front, nearly all of them 
with these same features — lofty rusticated basement ; 
front broken by projecting middle compartment; 
pediment above the tympanum filled with sculptured 
scroll work; rusticated angles to front and to pro- 
jected compartment; the whole surmounted by cor- 
nice balustrade urns, and steep pavilion roof; broad 
tapering steps or a double stair leading to an orna- 
mental doorway in the exact middle of the front ; 
quaint interior with fine mahogany dado and bal- 
usters, and doors ; and rooms with panelled walls 
and coved ceilings and light and graceful plaster 
work, wrought by the hand into boughs and flowers 
and fruit." Only one of the fifteen remains in some- 
thing like its original form. It is the Dreghorn 
Mansion, now a house within a house, at No. 20 
Great Clyde Street. The carpet-room of the furni- 
ture store at that number in Great Clyde Street was 
the drawing-room of the Dreghorn Mansion. This 
apartment has a domed ceiling, with elegant stucco 
ornamentation, and a marble fireplace surmounted 

Old Houses — ijth and 1 8 th Century Styles. 61 

by a panel picture, encircled by floral plaster work. 
Opposite the fireplace is an arched recess, showing 
pleasing ornamentation in plaster scallop shells. 
The carved mahogany staircase balusters were sold 
some years ago, but the house generally is in its 
original state, although concealed from outward view 
by " lean-to" erections on the south and west. 

An interesting little 18th century house is the old 
residence of the Walkinshaws of Camlachie and 
Barrowfield, the devoted adherents of the Jacobite 
cause. The house is now numbered 809 to 811 
Gallowgate. Here Prince Charlie is said to have 
visited. Major-General Wolfe, the hero of Quebec, 
lodged in it for six months. This James Wolfe or 
Woulfe, of Irish descent, was undoubtedly one of 
the ablest soldiers connected with that race, and it 
has been said that his early death at the moment of 
victory at Quebec, in view of the subsequent revolt 
of the American colonists, was perhaps the greatest 
loss ever sustained by this country in any single 
battle. When residing at Camlachie, Wolfe engaged 
a Glasgow school-teacher to give him two hours' 
daily lessons in mathematics. At the great fire in 
the Gorbals on 5th June, 1749, Wolfe, at the head 
of a small company of soldiers, distinguished himself 
by fighting the flames ; and at another time he 
quelled a local riot connected with the gruesome 
resurrection traffic, which afterwards shocked the 
world by the disclosures of the Burke and Hare 
trial. Wolfe's room in 8 1 1 Gallowgate has never 
been altered since his time. It is a plain apart- 
ment, with a low ceiling, and without any noteworthy 
features, only in his day it would have a pleasant 
outlook over the haughs of Clyde to the hills 
beyond. This prospect would be enlivened by the 
Edinburgh Road, which crossed the Camlachie 

62 Old Houses — ijth and 1 8th Century Styles, 

Burn at the foot of the garden, at that period one of 
the most busy highways in Scotland. Camlachie 
House, erected in 1720, stood originally in a 12-acre 
park, with yard buildings at the back, and a lawn 
with flower-beds and shrubberies in front. Probably 
the sole reason that the house, now consisting of a 
tavern, a shop, and flats, is still preserved, is that 
it happened to hit exactly the north building line of 
the new street extension at that point. 

Another interesting property in the Gallowgate is 
the old Saracen's Head Inn, now rented out as shops 
and tenement houses. It was a development from 
the older plan of great inns like the " George" 
and " White Hart " in the Borough, London. The 
host of the " Saracen's Head" advertised that his 
bedrooms would be entered directly from the pas- 
sages, not as in older inns where a guest occupying, 
let us suppose, No. 13 bedroom, might have to pass 
through Nos. 1 1 and t 2 before reaching his own 
apartment. A curious story in connection with the 
building of the "Saracen's Head" by Robert 
Tennant in 1754, appears in perhaps twenty books. 
It is to the effect that the Magistrates of Glasgow 
gave Mr. Tennant permission to use the Bishop's 
Castle as a quarry from which to cart the stones for 
his new inn. What the Magistrates did was to ask 
him to use up the stones of the East Port, which 
stood nearly opposite the site of the " Saracen's 
Head." That ancient arched port, like Temple 
Bar in our own day, was a great obstruction — hay 
carts, showmen's caravans, and all high loaded 
vehicles having to take inconvenient lanes to pass 
around. Many distinguished people stayed at the 
" Saracen's Head." There Dr. Johnson and Boswell 
rested for some days after the tour to the Hebrides, 
and were visited by Adam Smith, the author of the 

David Dale's House, South Charlotte Street. 

From the Garden. 

Old Houses — iyth and 18th Century Styles. 63 

" Wealth of Nations," and other prominent citizens. 
Robert Burns occupied one of its bedrooms on the 
night of the 28th February, 1788. In 1803 William 
and Dorothy Wordsworth and Coleridge remained 
for two days. The hackney coach used by the 
Wordsworth party must have excited greater curiosity 
than the first motor car did a year or two ago. On 
the departure of the Lake poets it was pursued out 
of the town by a crowd of barefooted little urchins, 
hallooing the new vehicle. As the " Saracen's 
Head" at the present day appears to be well rented 
it might be supposed to be good enough for preserva- 
tion on account of its history, but a "for sale" 
placard appears on its front wall, and any day it 
may give place to a new factory-shaped tenement. 
Vandalism in Scotland on a large scale is said to 
have commenced about 1760. This does not apply 
to Glasgow, for, after the removal of the Bishop's 
Castle in 1792 to make an open space in front of the 
Royal Infirmary, a period of 50 years elapsed before 
the Cathedral west towers were taken down and the 
demolition of old street architecture began in real 
earnest. Since then no time has been lost, and in a 
few years the ancient city of St. Mungo will be more 
modern than Boston, Massachusetts. The present 
generation is extremely interested in fictitious stories 
about Reginalds who never were and adventures 
that never happened. Another generation, more 
practical and with a finer historic sense, may regret 
that good types of domestic architecture represent- 
ing various dates of erection were not left in 
Glasgow, to have given their stories in stones. 

South Charlotte Street, opened in 1779, is the 
last remaining part of the city which shows much 
the same old-world aspect that some streets did 
to Daniel Defoe in 1727, when he described 

64 Old Houses — 17th and 18th Century Styles, 

Glasgow "as one of the cleanest, most beautiful and 
best built cities in Great Britain." Many of the 
houses in that street are claimed to have been 
designed by Robert Adam, the famous Scots 
architect. The finest dwelling-house there, now part 
of the Glasgow Eye Infirmary was formerly owned 
and occupied by David Dale, an eminent 18th 
century citizen. In his Charlotte Street house 
he entertained Richard Arkwright, the inventor, 
and in it his daughter was married to Robert 
Owen, the Socialist. Dale, during his lifetime, 
gave ^52,000 for benevolent purposes, a great 
sum for that time, and at his burial in the 
Ramshorn Kirkyard, a vast crowd assembled as 
a last tribute of respect. This house, which was 
recently the subject of an interesting paper read 
before the Glasgow Archaeological Society by 
Mr. Wm. George Black, F.S.A., might well be 
taken as a model of interior arrangement. The 
south wing contained the laundry and servants' 
bedrooms, the north wing the kitchen, the sculleries, 
bakehouse and wine-cellar. The principal rooms 
show Robert Adam's characteristics of elegant 
design and ornamentation, and the wood-carvings 
of the fireplace framings are highly artistic. 
The library, with its domed ceiling and glass 
doors leading to a balcony, must have been a 
charming room before the view of the Clyde 
banks was obstructed by buildings. The 18th 
century Charlotte Street houses had at one 
time large gardens attached to them, and they 
still suggest, in their proximity to Glasgow 
Green, reminiscences of rusticity, with old-fashioned 
flowers and fountains, and a free stretch of natural 

A Robert Adam Fireplace, with Modern Grate, in 
Dale's House, South Charlotte Street. 


Glasgu, the Holy Well Place-name. 

Dr. Joyce, in his interesting work " Irish Names of 
Places," has this to say about wells. " Wells have been at 
all times held in veneration in Ireland. Before the intro- 
duction of Christianity they were not only venerated but 
actually worshipped both in Ireland and Scotland. After 
the general spread of the Faith the people's affection for 
wells was not only retained but intensified, for most of the 
early preachers of the gospel established their humble 
foundations (many of them destined to grow in after years 
into great religious and educational institutions) beside 
these fountains, whose waters at the same time supplied 
the daily wants of the little communities, and served for 
the baptism of converts." Glasgu, the earliest spelling of 
the word Glasgow — to be exact of the date, 1116 — may be 
a combination of the old Celtic adjective gu or cu for dear 
or sacred, and glas^ a brook or streamlet. The Rev. James 
B. Johnstone, author of the " Place-names of Scotland," 
when writing on this subject in the Glasgow Citizen of 
20th September 1899, admits that this may be the meaning 
of the name Glasgow, as in Douglas, " dark stream," but he 
thinks the most probable suggestion is that which makes 
Glasgow (in a Brythonic not a Gaelic part of Scotland) 
come from the Welsh Glas cau, "green hollows." The 
cau is pronounced kay, and this is important, because that 
corresponds with the common vulgar pronunciation 
" Glesca " or " Gleskay." But, leaving etymologies aside, 
there is no doubt that the ancient Deschu and Cathures, 
the Celtic settlements to which St. Mungo came as an 
evangelist, had their inexhaustible springs up-welling 
in gushing, bubbling water, unchanged by droughts or hard 

66 Queen Mary' s Lodgings in Glasgow. 

frost. On the south bank, beneath the Cathures or Cathair, 
at a point near the foot of the present Portland Street and 
George Street, was the famous Deanside Well, described in 
a charter of 1 304 as a scaturiens fons, " overflowing foun- 
tain," from which it was directed by a rivulet to supply the 
Blackfriars Monastery. The flowing spring in the heart of 
the ancient Deschu (Cathedral Square), when curbed into 
a pump well in 18 16, was stated by Dr. Cleland to be 42 
feet deep and brimful of water. It still flows through 
underground channels into the Molindinar Burn. Under 
the Fergus Aisle, which projects from the south wall of the 
Cathedral, is a puddle of water, as was seen about four 
years ago, when the aisle was re-flagged ; and the last grave 
opened in the churchyard, nearly opposite the Cathedral 
door, gathered 95 pailsfull in a few hours. A public 
appearance of the Glasgu, or sacred streamlet, happened 
about a year ago at the erection of the iron upright 
connected with the electric car system in Cathedral 
Square, opposite Macleod Street. No sooner had the 
regulation 9-feet hole been dug than water began to 
percolate through, and stood three feet deep in the 
hole. The labourers thought a pipe had been broken, 
but some townhead residents were able to inform them 
that the water proceeded from the old well which, in Dr. 
Cleland's time, had been situated a few feet to the north of 
the spot. 

Queen Mary's Lodgings in Glasgow. 

An attempt to fix upon the exact Glasgow house where 
Queen Mary lodged when visiting her husband is not so 
difficult as it would appear. In the first place, it may be 
advisable to glance at the state of affairs in Glasgow at the 
time of the Royal visit, six years after the Reformation. 
Woodrow, the historian, states that " by the influence of 
the family of Lennox and other persons popishly affected, 
the town of Glasgow came not so easily into the measures 
for Reformation as several other towns of the nation." In 
1567, the year of the Queen's visit, the Rector of Cardross, 
one of the ex-canons of the Cathedral who had not changed 
from the old doctrines, was regularly collecting Glasgow 
rents to send to James Beaton, the last Roman Catholic 

Queen Mary 1 s Lodgings in Glasgow. 67 

Archbishop, who was then ambassador for Scotland at the 
Court of France, and who had in his possession the rental 
books of his old diocese. When new magistrates had to be 
appointed in Glasgow the form was gone through of making 
a search for " the most reverend the Archbishop " that he 
would make a selection as of old, after which mock cere- 
mony the town council made the appointments. Archibald 
Heigate, notary, and on three occasions town-clerk of 
Glasgow, was a Roman Catholic " stalwart " with a sure 
belief in the ultimate overthrow of the new movement, and 
with him was a considerable following. The Episcopal 
party had for chief supporters the Stewarts of Minto, the 
Elphinstones of Blythswood, Corbets of Hardgray, and 
Halls of Fulbar. Andrew Hay, David Wemyss, Henry 
Gibson, the principal notary of the town, and Craw- 
ford of Ferme, Rutherglen, were leading Presbyterians, 
while William Baillie of Provan, Sir Bartholomew Simpson, 
and several prominent men were " on the fence " keeping a 
sharp outlook for their own interests. 

An examination of the houses available where the Queen 
and her retinue could have lodged is possible by the 
assistance of the Protocol books. The nearest to the 
" Place of Stable Green," where Darnley lay recovering from 
smallpox, were the manses of Govan and Renfrew. These 
buildings were probably manses in name only, and may 
have been simply cottage tenements formerly possessed by 
the St. Nicholas Hospital, standing on the hospital land. 
There are reasons for believing that the original manses 
connected with these important prebends had been 
thirteenth century buildings, situated in the Rottenrow, 
which had become ruinous. The St. Nicholas tenements 
that had been converted into manses were also so small 
that a record of 1 508 contains in brief the story of a pretty 
quarrel between the Rectors of Govan and Renfrew, the 
latter having complained that Rector Colquhoun of Govan 
had taken possession of part of bis house in his absence, 
and another record, evidently referring to the same dispute, 
alludes to Rector Gibson of Renfrew as a contumacious 
person. But what disproves all claims that these houses 
lodged the Queen and her retinue is the fact that both were 
empty and not in a habitable condition in 1567. Other 
two near-by prebendal houses were those of Morebattle 

68 Queen Mary's Lodgings in Glasgow, 

and Erskine, both small manses, and untenanted at that 
period. The parsonage near the old Barony Church 
site, which ended its career as the " Lady of the Lake " 
tavern, might have suited, but it is known from the Protocols 
to have been so ruinous at the time as " unable to be 
repaired except at great cost." The manses of Cambuslang 
and Peebles were empty and in bad condition, the first so 
much so as to be "ready to fall." The arrangement of houses 
known as the Duke's Lodgings was not in existence. The 
Earl of Eglinton had not then acquired the Manse of 
Douglas, and what had been the Glasgow residences of the 
Rectors of Carstairs and Moffat were inhabited by private 
people of no great standing. The latter manse was also a 
small building, and unsuitable in every way. When con- 
sidering " the great and sumptuous residences of the clergy " 
before the Reformation, to quote from a Glasgow petition to 
Parliament of 1587, it is well to keep in mind that Eddleston 
Manse, described in the Protocols as "a great tenement," was 
only " an old-fashioned house of two storeys," according to 
" Senex " in " Glasgow Past and Present." A number of 
the manses would probably have been styled cottages in 
modern phraseology. 

The Bishop's Castle itself must now be considered. 
From the Reformation, and for some time after the Queen's 
visit it was uninhabited and uncared for. Here is Sir 
William Brereton's account of it when he visited Glasgow 
in 1634. After describing it as " a poor, mean place," he 
said " the Archbishop's daughter, a handsome and well-bred 
gentlewoman, entreated me with much civil respect, and 
would not suffer me to depart until I had drunk Scotch 
ale, which was the best I had tasted in Scotland." Sir 
William, a courteous Cheshire gentleman and a general in 
the Parliamentary army, would no doubt have mentioned 
it had there been anything " great and sumptuous " about 
the Bishop's Castle. The Queen's preference for ordinary 
houses as residences when travelling is also against the 
theory that she resided in the unoccupied keep of the 
Bishop's. If the Royal party had done so the probability 
is that contemporary writers would have used the word 
" castle " instead of " her ludgings." The more the question 
is considered the greater becomes the likelihood that the 
Queen lodged in " Provand's Lordship," the town house of 

Queen Marys Lodgings in Glasgow. 69 

the Baillies, who were indebted to her charter for the estate 
of Provan. Here is a- straight tradition of the Townhead 
bearing upon this subject. Mr. Archibald Mackay, residing 
at 81 Rottenrow, is now in his 87th year. His mother, 
born at the Townhead about 1780, stated many times in 
his hearing that it was a tradition in her family that the 
" Black Land," another name for " Provand's Lordship," was 
the house in which Queen Mary lodged when visiting 
Darnley. From another reliable source comes a similar 
statement and with this addition, that the north attic of the 
house a hundred years ago was known as " Queen Mary's 
garret." It may seem strange that these scraps of tradition 
now find their way into print for the first time. The 
strangeness disappears when the methods of Glasgow 
historians are considered. Almost without exception they 
tried to cover the entire subject from the days of St. Mungo 
till their own time. As an illustration of what had to be 
omitted take the case of Gibson, the local historian of 1777. 
He had in his possession one of the lost volumes of burgh 
records, which included the Reformation year, and for the 
recovery of which the Town Council would no doubt offer 
a reward of a hundred guineas if the slightest hope were 
entertained that the volume still existed, yet Gibson could 
only find room for a half-dozen of meagre extracts. More- 
over, public interest in the minor antiquities of Glasgow 
does not extend back many years. According to " Glasghu 
Fades," the shaft of the old Market Cross, for at least a 
generation before 1840, lay uncared for within six hundred 
yards of the Hunterian Museum, then suddenly disappeared 
and was never afterwards heard of, although a Corporation 
search party were after it about 1869. It may also be 
mentioned here that the exact sites of the row of houses, 
which included the " Place of Stable Green " from 
Morebattle Manse to Blacader's Hospital, were first 
made known by Dr. David Murray's article " The Rotten- 
row of Glasgow" in Regality Club publications about 
four years ago. The old idea was that the Lennox House 
stood nearly opposite the old College in High Street, a 
quarter of a mile distant from the right spot, and this fact, 
perhaps, more than anything else, prevented enquiries from 
being made towards settling the question as to where the 
Queen lodged. 

yo The Casket Letters. 

The Casket Letters. 

As has been stated previously, Queen Mary may have 
taken down the little speech of Darnley on her " memorial 
papers " to be re-written into the " great Glasgow letter," 
just as Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill said had been done 
in his case, for the purpose of reading it to Lord Lennox. 
But Archibald Douglas, parson of Glasgow, has been 
mentioned as the probable forger of the " Glasgow letter," 
which, if genuine, undoubtedly proves Mary's guilty 
knowledge of Bothwell's plot to murder her husband. 
Douglas was the cousin of the Earl of Morton, who had 
obtained possession of the Casket Letters, and Douglas was 
present when the mysterious silver-gilt casket was taken 
from Bothwell's servants in Edinburgh. Before the 
Reformation Archibald Douglas was in holy orders, and 
was afterwards appointed to the Parsonage of Glasgow. 
Rector Andrew Hay,as Superintendent of Clydesdale, would 
not allow him to take office, as being unfit to perform the 
duties, but after petitions to Parliament and the General 
Assembly, David Wemyss, the first Presbyterian minister 
of Glasgow, was appointed to examine Douglas as to his 
fitness for the position. On the day fixed for his trial 
sermon the candidate was found "playing at the tables 
with the laird of Bargany." When he appeared, " luiking 
till sum guid fellow suld len him a psalm-book," David 
Wemyss presented him with a Greek Testament, which 
Douglas refused, saying, " Think ye everie minister that 
occupies the pulpit hes Greek." He at last got a psalm- 
book, and " after luking and casting over the leaves thereof 
a space, he desyrit sum minister to mak a prayer for him, 
' for,' he said, ' I am not used to pray.' " After he read his 
text, he says, " 'for the connectione of this text I will reid 
the thing that is befoir,' and sua red a gud space till he come 
whair he began, and swa continowed his exercise with 
mony hoistly noses," etc. Said Richard Bannatyne, the 
narrator, " O Lord ! what salbe said when sic dum doges 
salbe sufferit to mock the ministrie of Thy Word ? " 

Douglas was concerned in the murder of Rizzio and fled 
the country, but through the powerful influence of his 
family received a pardon. He was also present at the 
murder of Darnley, losing his slippers in running from the 

The Casket Letters, 71 

spot after the explosion of gunpowder which blew up the 
Kirk of Field house. He forged letters from the Archbishop 
of Glasgow to the Pope to ruin the Earl of Lennox. He 
betrayed his cousin the Earl of Morton, betrayed his 
Queen, plotted with Bothwell to slay Darnley, and was 
undoubtedly that very rare type, the genuine hardened 
villain. If, as Mr. Froude said, the Glasgow letter "could 
have been invented only by a genius equal to that of 
Shakespeare," there may not have been much difficulty in 
making interpolations in a letter which was completed on 
scrap or memorial paper, with jottings and marginal notes 
mixed up. It is a little remarkable that when Douglas 
finally acquired the Parsonage of Glasgow, William 
Baillie of Provan, and Captain Thomas Crawford of 
Jordanhill, became also connected with its lands and 
emoluments. Baillie belonged to a family of whom it 
has been said that " they had a genius for jobbery that 
the Dundases might have envied." This William Baillie, 
President of the College of Justice, was deprived of his 
office by Regent Moray, but the " good Regent " might 
have spared himself the trouble, for Bailie soon regained 
the place, which he held till his death in 1593. Captain 
Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill was another notable man, 
perhaps more clever than scrupulous. His capture of 
Dumbarton Rock as an exploit of mingled craft and 
hardihood is difficult to match in the annals of Scottish 
warfare. It was an old opinion in Glasgow that Major- 
General Wolfe copied Crawford's plan of attack when he 
sent his Highlanders up the Heights of Abraham on that 
eventful September night before the bloody and decisive 
battle of the following day. Wolfe certainly knew the 
story, and had carefully examined Dumbarton Rock. 

Assisted by such men as Baillie and Crawford, Douglas 
may have been able to introduce interpolations into the 
Casket Letter that the Queen herself could hardly have 
recognised to be forgeries. That portion of the Glasgow 
letter, for instance, where Mary warmed herself at the fire 
and conversed with Lord Livingstone of Callender and 
others in attendance, might have taken place, but it is hard to 
believe that she put it in writing. Baillie might have got 
that bit of information from his own domestics or from 
another " worthy " of the town, Sir Bartholomew Simpson, 

72 Dr. Thomas Lyle and Prince Charlie. 

who, from his former connection with the house " Provand's 
Lordship," may have been in waiting upon the Queen. 
Simpson, before the Reformation, was one of the Vicar's 
Choral, and sat among "the bairns for singing the first and 
sacond trebul." After the change of doctrines, as Preceptor 
of the St. Nicholas Hospital, he conducted a daily service 
in the Cathedral for the aged inmates of the hospital, and 
would uplift his voice not in prose psalms, as formerly, 
but in " All people that on earth do dwell," or " Now Israel 
may say and that truly," written by ex-Scots priests like 
himself. But he was not one of the choral vicars who 
helped to arrange the first Presbyterian psalter ; real estate 
was more in his line, and at the time of his death he owned 
considerable property in the Briggait, Saltmarket, and 
Townhead. He was twice suspended for fraudulent 
appropriation of the St. Nicholas Hospital funds, and on 
one occasion his accounts were examined by Andrew Hay, 
David Wemyss, and Sub-dean Walkinshaw. 

Dr. Thomas Lyle and Prince Charlie. 

One of the houses recently cleared away between the 
George Street corner and the Water Works on the west 
side of High Street, was the tenement number 283, where 
Dr. Thomas Lyle, the author of the charming song 
" Kelvingrove," was said to have resided during the last 
years of his life, about 1856, when holding the office of 
District Surgeon to the Barony Parochial Board. His 
drug store was in the next house northwards, now part of 
the Waterworks yard. His poems were chiefly written 
between 1820 and 1827. Here is his portrait in verse of 
" Bonnie Prince Charlie " from the description of an old 
woman who had frequently seen the young Pretender 
when a lass — 

" His diamond e'en as black as sloes 
Were laughing o'er his Roman nose, 
His cheeks like maiden blushing rose, 

His teeth like ivory showing \ 
Whene'er he smiled, the Prince was there 
In 's dimpled chin and brent brow fair, 
And curling locks of sandy hair 

Beneath his bonnet flowing." 

The Monks House y &c. 73 

It is a little curious that coloured pictures on cottage walls 
and descriptions of some eminent writers agree in depicting 
the Prince as a blue-eyed young man of fair complexion. 
The same transformation has taken place with another 
favourite of Scottish song, Highland Mary, who has been 
described often enough as a blonde. The following short 
account of Mary Campbell is taken from an old copy of the 
Ayr Observer. "On 22nd December 1858, Mrs. Miller, 
better known as Helen or Nelly Miller, died at the age of 
92-J- years. She had a vivid recollection of Robert Burns 
and Highland Mary. Nelly was a neighbour servant with 
Highland Mary. She had a high opinion of Mary 
Campbell, who, she said, ' was an unco bonnie bit lass, wi 
twa fine black een and gae Heelan spoken.' " 

Monks' House and Prebendal Manse of Ancrum. 

The original south-west corner of the Rottenrow and 
High Street, as has been stated, was 65 feet farther west 
than at present, and a considerable part of the prebendal 
Manse of Peebles, the third house from the corner, on the 
south line of the Drygait houses, stood upon what is now 
the street at the point which forms the new " Bell o' the 
Brae." Keeping this in view, the ancient Monks' House, 
so often mentioned in local records, and which had belonged 
to the Abbey of Paisley, occupied part of the first building 
lot at the foot of the Rottenrow, south side. This lot had 
about 26 yards frontage on Rottenrow and 56 yards on 
High Street. At the south-west end of this plot of ground 
there was laid bare at the recent excavations on the west 
side of High Street the foundation walls of an ancient 
large building, 54 feet long and 22 feet wide, the walls of 
which had been 3 feet thick. The house, when entire, had 
faced the south, and at the north-west corner of it there 
had been a projecting staircase 9 feet square within the 
walls. The founds were covered by from 3 to 4 feet of soil, 
and from Protocol descriptions may be identified as having 
been the foundation walls of the Monks' House, which 
was ruinous at the close of the sixteenth century. 

What were, in all probability, the foundations of the pre- 
bendal Manse of Ancrum, a Roxburghshire prebend, have 
been seen by Dr. Thomas, Superintendent of the Royal 

74 The Greyfriars Monastery. 

Infirmary, at the south-east corner of the Infirmary yard. 
Like the Manse of Moffat, the house of the Rector of 
Ancrum had been erected shortly before the Reformation. 
Moffat Manse had thinner walls than the fifteenth century 
houses of the Catholic clergy, and the building which had 
stood at the extreme south-east corner of the Infirmary 
yard, and which corresponds to Mr. Renwick's Protocol 
map as to the position of Ancrum Manse, had 2-J-feet thick 
walls and had fronted eastward to the Vicars' Alley. 

The Greyfriars' Monastery. 

The Greyfriars, or Friars Minor, were settled in Glasgow 
about the middle of the fifteenth century, and their 
buildings and pertinents, so far as known, were a bell 
tower, or campanile, a cloister, dormitory, refectory, cat- 
houses, a garden, and cemetery. These, we learn from the 
Protocol books, were surrounded by a wall, and also that 
the cemetery was the most westerly portion of the ground. 
Protocols of 1 5 1 1 show that the little cemetery was 42 feet 
wide, which corresponds with the breadth of the old burial 
ground discovered in 1820, when preparations were being 
made for the erection of Greyfriars U.F. Church in John 
Street. That, perhaps, was the full width of the Greyfriars' 
property between the north and south walls, and the whole 
length of their lot, including cemetery, garden, and yard, 
extended from the modern Greyfriars U.F. Church in John 
Street, then due east to Shuttle Street, the old name of 
which was Greyfriars Wynd. The north line of the 
property did not reach as far north as the present George 
Street. The cemetery portion of the ground on which 
Greyfriars Church stands must have been well sprinkled 
with holy water in pre-Reformation days, as the graves 
were found close together, nearly 200 skeletons having 
been discovered. Unlike Greyfriars Church, it cannot 
be exactly stated how the Tron and St. Enoch's Kirks 
stand in relation to their pre-Reformation foundations, 
but the line of the old Girth or Sanctuary Burn which 
flows under the new Barony Church is known. The 
Girth Burn at one part has been stone-curbed into a 
very narrow channel, and was found to be 18 feet deep in 
the Gasworks yard, when examined by Mr. William 

The Blackfriars Monastery. 75 

Cuthbert, of the Master of Works department, a number of 
years ago. 

Two remarkable men who will live in the annals of 
Scottish martyrology were connected with the Greyfriars 
strip of land, between John Street and Shuttle Street. 
The first was Jerome Russell, one of the Friars Minor, who 
was tried for heresy and burnt at the stake in 1539. The 
second was James Chalmers, whom R. L. Stevenson 
described as the " Greatheart of New Guinea." Chalmers, 
when a young man, was the missionary connected with 
Greyfriars Church, and one day, inside the building, he had 
a conversation with Dr. Turner of Samoa, who laid before 
him the claims of the foreign mission field. Chalmers 
made a decision there and then, and became the famous 
missionary, whose death at the hands of a war party of 
savages took place a few months ago. 

The Blackfriars' Monastery. 

The a back land," called the Porterfield Mansion, already 
described, did not face " Barr's Land," the tenement which 
fronted the High Street. Its facade was directed towards 
the south-east, and in 1782 a small building stood between 
it and the Grammar School Wynd. Mr. Robert Reid 
(" Senex ") remembered this cottage when a schoolboy, 
and said that it had a " through close " leading from the 
Wynd to the Porterfield Mansion. This close was " an 
ancient covered entry about 7 feet wide, and on each side 
of the entry were stone seats. The tradition among the 
schoolboys was that these seats had been used by the 
Friars Preachers as a lounging resort." It was, no doubt, 
the elliptical arched entrance to this passage that the Rev. 
W. M. Wade, author of a history of Glasgow and " Walks 
in Oxford," saw in 1820. At that time the small house 
with the peculiar " through-close " was in ruins. 

The Porterfield Mansion was on the west side of the 
High Street, and opposite, on the east side of that street, 
were the church of the Blackfriars and other buildings. 
Scraps of evidence exist which seem to support the school- 
boys' tradition about the Porterfield Mansion having once 
belonged to the Friars Preachers or Black Friars. In the 
first place, the old garden walls of the mansion were 

7 6 The Blackfriars Monastery, 

standing in 1782, and they extended westward to Shuttle 
Street, and to those who have a knowledge of the locality 
it will be understood how easily the Deanside well-water 
could have been conveyed by an almost straight downhill 
rivulet to this property. The Black Friars' Charter of 1 304, 
referring to water supply from that source, would more 
feasibly apply to east side of High Street property than to 
west side. Here is another record of the Friars Preachers 
that might be construed into a reference to the passage 
with stone seats mentioned by " Senex." In 1478 Prior 
John Smith, with consent of the convent, gave a plot of 
adjacent ground to Robert Forester on condition that in the 
house he was then building he should construct a gate and 
passage to the Friars' Church, with a niche or window 
above for the reception of an image of the Blessed Virgin. 
A reason for the friars leaving the Porterfield buildings 
might also be explained by another of their records. 
In 1487 they were obliged to erect a large dwelling- 
house "on the west side of their cloister." The plans 
for this house were as follows : — " The first storey to 
contain five or six vaults, the second two halls, two 
kitchens, and five chambers, and the third as many upper 
rooms. It was to be of equal height to the adjoining 
church, and to be provided honestly with benches and 
wooden work." The walls were expressly stated to be 
" ashlar on the outside and the roof to be covered with 
slates." This Blackfriars' building of 1487 seems to have 
been almost a replica of the Porterfield Mansion, but on a 
larger scale, and with an ashlar instead of a rubble 
built front. The specifications are interesting as showing 
the development in house building at the close of 
the fifteenth century. The rubble-stone work and thatched 
or turf-roofed manses erected in Bishop Cameron's time, 
about 1430, were at the close of that century being 
supplanted by houses with hewn stone fronts and slated 
roofs. It would be interesting to be able to bring forward 
more evidence apparently in confirmation of the story told 
by Glasgow boys attending the Grammar School in 1782, 
but nothing further can be added. As already mentioned, 
the Porterfield Mansion was acquired in 1553 from the 
chaplain of St. Mary's Altar in the parish of Houston. 
The parish church of Houston belonged to the monks of 

Oak Timber. JJ 

Paisley, and as it is known that the Abbey owned a 
property in the High Street of Glasgow, opposite or nearly 
opposite Blackfriars Monastery, it is almost certain that 
the chaplain who conveyed the house to John Porterfield 
had acquired a right to it from the monks and not from 
the Friars Preachers. 

Oak Timber. 

In the Protocols of Glasgow the statement constantly 
occurs that a house had been " wasted " or that it was 
"waste and ruinous," and a year or two later the 
same building is again described as if there was nothing 
the matter with it. A reason for this, and also for the long 
endurance of some old dwelling-houses in this country, is 
perhaps explained by a passage in Graham's " Social Life 
in Scotland in the 1 8th Century," which refers to outgoing 
tenants removing bearers and rafters from farmhouses and 
leaving to their successors a ruin of four broken walls, so 
that the house in great part had to be reconstructed, and 
made almost as good as when first erected. The records 
show that nearly every prebendal manse of old Glasgow 
had been wasted and renewed at some period of its 
existence, although the St. Nicholas Hospital tenement 
that had been converted into a manse for the Govan 
prebend was not restored after the Reformation, but was 
demolished to make building material for the High Street 

In 1562, when the " Heart of Midlothian " Tolbooth in 
Edinburgh was partly taken down, the renters of the shops 
on the ground floors complained to the Provost, Bailies, 
and Council that the Master of Works was taking away 
joists " that had been brocht be thame and laid there." 
The timber was urgently wanted for the erection of a new 
Tolbooth. In 15 10 the building of that "tall shippe " of 
war, the Great Michael, was said to have exhausted all the 
woods of Fife. Here is a curious instance of the scarcity 
of building timber in Glasgow, from a minute of Town 
Council, 13th June 1661. " The key at the Broomelaw to 
be heightit twa stones heigher nor it was ordained to be 
befor, and ordaines the Deane of Gild to try for moir oakin 
timber, ather in the Hie Kirk or bak galrie, for facing 

j8 The SummerhilL 

therof." Notwithstanding the amount of oak that has 
been taken at various times from the Cathedral there is 
still an extraordinary quantity of ancient oak timber there. 
Glasgow Cathedral is a timber-roofed, not a stone-roofed, 
church, and the massive cross beams that support the roofs 
of the nave, choir, and transepts, are nearly all the original 
wood. Some pieces are like cork on the surface, but other 
old beams look as solid and heavy as when first placed in 
position. The smaller trees have had but little more than 
the bark removed, and are rough hewn, but the large trees 
have been made into square timber, as clean hewn as any 
expert Canadian lumberman could have done it with his 
broad-axe. If the modern plaster panel and ribbed 
ceilings of Glasgow Cathedral could be taken down, the 
oak timber rafters would be exposed to view as they were 
centuries ago. 

The Summerhill. 

The query has more than once appeared in Glasgow 
newspapers, " Where was the Summerhill ? " At that 
unknown spot, in early days, when Glasgow was little more 
than a village, the whole community assembled about the 
end of June to hold one of the ancient midsummer festivals. 
The Provost, Bailies, and Council, accompanied by many 
citizens on foot and horseback, preceded by the town's 
pipers, first perambulated the marches, and afterwards 
rejoined the assembly at the Summerhill, where cakes and 
ale, golf, hand-ball, shinty, and dancing on the green were 
enjoyed till dusk, when the people returned to the almost 
deserted town. The Protocol books make it clear that the 
spot was near the Cowcaddens, and it is almost certain that 
the little eminence above Port Dundas, called before the 
canal period " Hundred Acre Hill," was the veritable 
" Simmerhill " of the old records. The hill is shown in a 
sketch of the Cathedral drawn by Captain Slezer about 
1693. Dundas Hill, as it is now called, has on its summit 
about forty acres of ground almost as level as a bowling- 
green, from which there is a magnificent view of Glasgow ; 
that is most clearly seen during the annual Fair week, 
about 5 a.m., a time when both factory and domestic fires 
are unlit and very little smoke hanging over the city. 

The Chapel of St. Roche. 79 

Prebendal Manse of Carnwath. 

The Manse of Carnwath, which stood in Kirk Lane on 
the south side of a little group of cottages between the old 
Barony Church and the Wallace Brig, was built on the 
same principle as the Manse of Stobo. It was not a long 
narrow oblong like most of the other pre-Reformation 
houses, but was a nearly square building with a staircase 
projecting at the back. One old informant was born in the 
house, and has a good recollection of it. His mother had 
two rooms, for which she paid one shilling a week for rent, 
and he states that several old people in his boyhood had a 
story that it had been the residence of Deans of the 
Cathedral before the Reformation. The fireplaces and 
stone window seats, he claims, were identical with those 
in " Provand'sLordship," and he makes a similar statement 
to what other informants say about the old manses, 
that Carnwath Manse was like a jail or a castle from the 
thickness of the walls and small size of some of its windows. 

The Chapel of St. Roche. 

The site of the chapel and burial ground of St. Roche, 
which were situated somewhere north of the Stable Green 
Port, has not been identified by the editor of Glasgow 
Protocols. Traces of the cemetery, where victims of the 
plague were interred, were visible so late as 1797, according 
to Brown's " History of Glasgow." For the benefit of 
future local historians it is mentioned here that two elderly 
citizens, born at the Townhead, claim that the chapel and 
yard may have been situated in Stanhope Street, off St. 
James's Road, formerly Dobbie's Loan, under the ridge of 
Parson Street, as a quantity of human bones were found 
buried in the locality, and a tombstone, the inscription on 
which was much defaced. A burn formerly crossed the 
foot of Stanhope Street, which afterwards flowed eastward 
towards the Moiindinar down the west side of Glebe Street. 
Both informants say that there was an old well at 
the spot referred to, which one of them states was called 
Eddy's Well and the other St. Rock's Well. The only 
record that favours this locality is the foundation deed of 
the Blacadder Hospital, which refers to lands of St. Roche 

80 The Ludgings Arranged according to 

Chapel being " on the north side of the common street of 
the Provansyd." 

The Ludgings Arranged according to Their 
Dates of Erection. 

The word " ludging," or its modern form " lodging," 
is locally applied to self-contained houses of the better 
class. An attempt will now be made to arrange in their 
chronological order the ludgings that have been described. 
In the earliest group were the Auld Pedagogy, first 
mentioned in a deed of 1283, the Monks' House in one 
of 1321, and the Manse of Stobo, of unknown antiquity, 
although perhaps not so old as the first two. Nothing of 
importance can be added to what has already been said 
about the Pedagogy, as it was ruinous for nearly a century 
before its removal, about i860, and the Monks' House 
exhibited only foundation walls, but so complete as to 
show what manner of building it had been. The Manse of 
Stobo, the building said to have been the old Mint where 
coins were struck, may have been connected with more 
than one prebend, and about 1 500 it seems to have been 
occupied by Prebendary Muirhead of Govan. Stobo 
Manse, some early historians of Glasgow declared, had 
been demolished about 1750 ; but there was no house 
between the Bell o' the Brae and the steep declivity about 
midway down the south side of the Drygait 50 years ago, 
anything like so recent an erection as its successor would 
have been, and there were no blank spaces. The house 
adjoining Peebles Manse, on the west, was said by the 
same writers to have been the Manse of Eaglesham, and it 
is so described by M'Gibbon and Ross in their " Castellated 
and Domestic Architecture of Scotland." This may have 
been the case at some period of its existence, as the pre- 
bendaries, although only life-renters of the manses, seem to 
have been occasionally granted liberty to make a change 
of residence, and the house referred to was originally 
owned and perhaps built by Sir David Mason, a chaplain, 
about 1494. At a later date it had been altered and 
repaired to correspond in appearance to the Duke's 
Lodgings. The majority of the manses were probably of 
Bishop Cameron's episcopate 1426-1446. One of these, 

their Dates of Erection. 8 1 

Eddleston Manse, appears in an old engraving, and might 
have been represented here, but the view is only of 
" thumb-nail " size, and indicates a plain long-shaped 
cottage " two storeys in height," as stated by Mr. Robert 
Reid. Another manse of the period, that of Morebattle, 
when it was the Trades' Hall, was reluctantly abandoned 
in 1792 by many members of the crafts when they took 
possession of their new hall in Glassford Street. The 
weavers, tailors, wrights, and cordiners were the instigators 
of the departure, but a number of the hammermen, malt- 
men, bakers, skinners, coopers, fleshers, and masons were 
hostile to the change. As their representative spokesman, 
John Herbertson, put it, " The present hall is fully sufficient 
for accommodation. It served our forefathers, and if we 
were inheritors of their wisdom and humility it would 
satisfy us." Before leaving the manses of Bishop Cameron's 
time that were attached to the prebends of Ashkirk, 
Carstairs, Peebles, Morebattle, Cambuslang, Erskine, Carn- 
wath, Eddleston, Eaglesham, and the Parsonage, it is 
worth noticing that the Rector of Ashkirk, when he first 
acquired the manse in 15 10, received a building described as 
a manse, but to what prebend it belonged before his time 
is unknown. 

The next buildings according to their date of erection, 
1471, were the Old Men's House and the Maid-servants' 
Cottage of the St. Nicholas Hospital and Provand's Lord- 
ship. The last-named was overhauled and repaired two 
years ago, when the workmen so employed discovered some 
of the old doors in the west wall that had opened to the 
balconies, and they also found that what are now inner 
walls on each side of the staircase tower had been exposed 
to the weather, evidently for many years. The hall and 
chapel of the St. Nicholas Hospital and St. Ninian's 
Chapel, about the same date, should hardly have been 
included among the ludgings, but it is some excuse that 
the first two were stables for a long time before their final 
disappearance, and the last was a publie-house for half a 
century. Provanhall and the Correction House may be 
placed together as probably built about 1 500. When the 
Dean of Guild repaired Provanhall in 1668 his first 
intention seems to have been to increase its size by making 
it into an L shape. The north gable wall of the old oblong 

82 The Ludgings Arranged according to 

building had been repaired and a doorway broken through 
on the upper floor for this purpose, and three tusks or pro- 
jecting stones left at the south corner to be joining stones 
for the new wing. This idea was abandoned, and a new 
house erected at the south end of the courtyard, the canon's 
old house being turned into a milk-house and store-rooms. 
It makes an ideal milk-house to-day from its thick walls. 
A peculiarity of the manses, which is remembered, was a 
grateful coolness in hot weather. Provand's Lordship has 
an agreeable temperature at the present day during the 
summer months. The projecting stones in the north gable 
of Provanhall old house, recall a protocol of 1 507, when 
Sub-dean Roland Blacader received permission to erect the 
gable wall of a Drygait house he was then building on 
another man's property, on the condition that he left " three 
tuskis." These would be visible signs that the owner of 
the adjoining lot could utilise the Sub-dean's gable wall 
when he built. The Roberton family appear to have 
received this privilege from the Prebendary of Carstairs, as 
may be seen in the sketch, and to-day the modern tenement 
to the north of Provand's Lordship rests part of its south 
gable on the north wall of the old house. 

A brief supplementary notice of the Correction House 
must now be given. Erected about 1500, it was not so 
favourably situated as the earlier Drygait manses, which 
were all on the high ground as near the Cathedral as 
possible. Those on the north side — Cardross, Tarbolton, 
and Ashkirk — stood adjoining each other at the spot 
described in a protocol of 1 507 as " the public square of the 
Drygait," which was the triangular open space at the 
Limmerfield opening. The Correction House, also 
described as the " Officials' House," the " Chaplainry of All 
Saints or All Hallows," the " Manse of Douglas," and the 
" Eglinton Town-house," was perhaps the finest dwelling- 
house property in Glasgow in pre-Reformation times. In 
every old deed it is " the great tenement " or " the great 
ludging," and from the plans of the large domicile, already 
referred to, which was erected a few years earlier by the 
Friars Preachers, it may have had a hewn stone front, and 
no doubt presented other features superior to the earlier 
manses. Unfortunately, no front view of it is known to 
exist, and the one here given of 1762 is taken from an 

their Dates of Erection. 83 

engraving, which is interesting as showing the gardens of 
the Drygait, south side, as they were arranged at the 
Reformation period. The arrangement of gardens in 
M' Arthur's map of 1778 show that considerable alterations 
had been made in the interval. At a late period two thin- 
walled cottages had been inserted between Eaglesham 
Manse and the Correction House, part of the ruins of which 
are visible in the drawing "Drygait, south side." When the 
Correction House, or first Bridewell, was the Eglinton 
town-house, it had the honour of affording shelter to James 
VI. during his last visit to Glasgow in 1617, on which 
occasion he is known to have been the guest of the 
Earl of Eglinton. As the tenement of Cunningham, the 
Official, it was frequently used for the transaction of legal 
business, and on the 16th March 1506 there must have been 
a long and wearisome day with the notaries, for those con- 
cerned, from the number of deeds drawn up and signed. 
Among the company present awaiting their turns to affix 
signatures were John, Lord Cathcart, John Lapraik of 
Goldenlee and his wife Elizabeth Cathcart, Lady Margaret 
Houston, Alan Stewart of Craghall and his wife, Sir John 
Maxwell of Nether Pollok, and the wealthy churchman, 
Archibald Crawford, Rector of Erskine. 

The Manse of Moffat represents the next date, about 
1540 ; the Porterfield Mansion before 1553, but how long 
is uncertain ; then come the oldest house in the Trongait, 
1 591, and the Dove House, High Street, 1595. Patrick 
Maxwell's house, number 40 High Street, was erected in 
1623, Gorbals Tower about 1636, the old Ship Bank build- 
ing about 1640, the numbers 15 and 25 High Street 
tenements about 1670, the Nisbet "land" about 1730, 
the Saracen's Head Inn 1754, and David Dale's house 
still later in the eighteenth century. 

Andrew Fairservice said of Glasgow Cathedral, "Ah, 
it's a brave kirk, nane o' yere whigmaleeries and curlie- 
wurlies and opensteek hems about it ; a' solid, weel-jointed 
mason wark, that will stand as lang as the warld, keep 
hands and gunpowther off it." Something in a similar 
vein could be said of old domestic architecture in Glasgow 
from the earliest times till the 18th century. There was no 
ornamental period as in Edinburgh, late in the sixteenth 
and throughout the seventeenth centuries. Number 138 

8 4 

The Ludgings Arranged, &c. 

Trongait made some pretensions with its rosettes over the 
windows that may have been copied from the same orna- 
ments under the battlement of the Cathedral Chapter-house, 
but Glasgow never possessed the ornate and picturesque 
buildings that were conspicuous in Edinburgh and many 
other towns in Scotland not so many years ago. But what 
Glasgow did show fifty years since was a direct line of 
characteristic dwelling-houses from the thirteenth to the 
nineteenth century, following each other so closely with 
their dates of erection as would have afforded a unique 
opportunity for the study of the transitions and progress of 
its domestic architecture. 


The Ancient Town Site of Glasgow 

Wooden Houses 

Pre-Reformation Manses . 

Old Houses in the Rottenrow 

The Kirkgait . 

The Drygait and Limmerfield 

The Stable Green and North Port . 

" Provand's Lordship " 

Provanhall in the Bishop's Forest 

Gorbais Tower and St. Ninian's Chapel 

The Porterfield Mansion . 

The Dove House, High Street 

The Oldest House in the Trongait . 

The Nisbet House in King Street 

Maxwell Tenement, 40 High Street 

Old Houses, 17th and 18th Century Styles 

Glasgow, the Holy Well Place-name 

Queen Mary's Lodgings in Glasgow 

The Casket Letters .... 

Dr. Thomas Lyle and Prince Charlie 

The Monks' House and Prebendal Manse 

The Greyfriars Monastery 

The Blackfriars Monastery 

Oak Timber . 

The Summerhill 

Prebendal Manse of Carnwath 

The Chapel of St. Roche 

The Ludgings arranged according to 

List of Illustrations 

of Ancrum 

their Dates 




Rector Andrew Hay's Armorial Stone 
Roberton's House, Carstairs Manse, and Moffat Manse 
The Kirkgait in 1799 

Manse of Morebattle and St. Nicholas Hospital Buildings 
in 1740 ....... 

St. Nicholas Hospital Chapel .... 

Prebendal Manse of Peebles and Duke's Lodgings 
Eaglesham Manse and Stobo Manse 
The Manse of Douglas, afterwards the Correction House 
Ashkirk Manse in Drygait .... 

" Provand's Lordship " . 

Bishop Muirhead's Shield on " Provand's Lordship " 
Beech Tree, a Relic of the Bishop's Forest 
Provanhall ..... 

Old Yew Tree at Provanhall . 
Gorbals Tower and St. Ninian's Chapel 
Porterfield Mansion 
The Dove House Court, High Street 
The Dove House, High Street, 
The Oldest House in the Trongait . 
Nisbet Land, King Street 
Maxwell Tenement, 40 High Street 
Old Ship Bank .... 

Old Tenements, 15 and 25 High Street 

Saracen's Head Inn 

David Dale's House 

A Robert Adam Fireplace in Dale's House